THURSDAY, MAY 15, 1997 - 6:00 P.M.



Mayor McLallen called the meeting to order at 6:05 P.M.



ROLL CALL: Mayor McLallen, Mayor ProTem Crawford, Council Members Clark (arrived 7:19), Kramer, Mitzel (arrived 6:58), Mutch, Schmid



ALSO PRESENT: City Manager Ed Kriewall, City Attorney David Fried, Assistant City Attorney Dennis Watson



PUBLIC HEARING: Federal Grant Police Department Bike Patrol


Police Chief Shaeffer stated they funded the Bicycle Patrol Program through the Department of Justice Federal Grant Program that provided a formula of funds based on Novi’s population size. Chief Shaeffer stated Novi was provided approximately $26,000 that they have to apply to a program. One reason they chose the bicycle patrol program is that it supports the philosophy of community oriented policing by placing officers closer to the community rather than putting them in vehicles where they are more isolated. Chief Shaeffer noted bicycles lend themselves to several additional goals through application in real patrol activities and advised Novi will use them in three modes. Those modes are for special events like the 50's Festival, general patrol functions in neighborhoods or other areas with a concentration of people or retail areas where there is a great deal of vehicle congestion. He added they can also use them for carrying intense patrols. He explained the bicycles will permit an officer to move stealthily in stake-out situations.


Officer Patrick Fanning gave a tour of the Brand Trek Model 7000 bicycle and noted it is at the top end of the scale for trek bikes. Officer Fanning advised the frame is beefier because of all the riding they will be doing. He stated there is a special rack with a police gear bag attached on the back. Further, the reflective large strip on the bag in the back helps increase visibility during night hours. The bike also has a flashing red light behind the seat and the front has a ten watt light.


Councilman Schmid asked what is the statue for lighting on bikes. Officer Fanning replied they need reflectors, and a back and front light with a minimum of five watts. Chief Shaeffer noted it is an application of the state statute.


Chief Shaeffer reported they spent $6,000 of the funding to purchase the bicycles and specialized uniforms for winter and summer. He stated the officers are currently wearing uniforms for cooler weather situations. The Chief reported the remainder of the grant money is dedicated toward overtime usage. He explained the overtime is so they can provide officers at special events without taking them away from their regular duties. Further, while this is not a true matching grant under the federal guidelines, there were a couple small components of fringe benefits that they would not pay that were associated with paying employees overtime. The Chief explained that is approximately a $3,000 cost to the community for the $26,000 in return. He added the federal grant provided funding for two bicycles and Novi purchased an additional two through the Drug Forfeiture funds. He added they currently have six trained officers in this program.


Councilwoman Mutch noted the different shirts and asked if it depicts a difference in rank. Chief Shaeffer replied they do not depict rank and the shirts are different depending upon whether it is summer or winter and a day or night type environment.


Councilwoman Mutch asked if there is a way to combine the program with the canine officer for special events. Chief Shaeffer replied there is.


Councilman Kramer asked if there are any other safety elements of equipment on the officers beyond what they can see tonight. Officer Mark Kohls replied there is reflective material on their shirts, they have gloves, and helmets and eyewear to protect them from stones. Chief Shaeffer noted their tennis shoes and added they replaced the typical leather gear with a web material.



Glen Bonaventura - stated some people think the money for this program is extra money when in fact it is still tax dollars. Mr. Bonaventura is not certain whether this is a good program for Novi, but believes it may be appropriate for special events.






Glen Bonaventura - believes Councilman Kramer is on the right track when he says the City is not negotiating a new ordinance. Mr. Bonaventura advised he has lived in this community for twenty years. He stated he also had the opportunity to serve on the Planning Commission and served as vice chair for one year. Mr. Bonaventura would like the RUD changes kept in line with the other options and noted that the other options respect RA zoning. Mr. Bonaventura never cared for the RUD and agreed that it needs changing. He asked Council to make the changes, but not to necessarily follow all of the developers proposed changes. Mr. Bonaventura would like to see the inclusion of a body of water as part of the density calculation. He explained in their other options they try to avoid using land that cannot be built on to increase density. He believes that is what this is all about. Although, Mr. Bonaventura believes that permitting a developer to suggest changes is acceptable, if Council follows through with all of the proposed changes he believes it would be unfair to any other previous developer that came before them. Mr. Bonaventura said Harvest Land Company was required to demonstrate a feasible means for providing water and sewer service to the site. He explained although water and sewer is not about the ordinance change, he believes the issues are connected. He advised Harvest Land Company’s solution to provide water and sewer extensions to the site was that it will be brought by others. By others, Mr. Bonaventura is assuming they mean Novi taxpayers. He also is assuming that they mean dragging the water and sewer extension out to the new school. When the opportunity arises, Mr. Bonaventura said growing cities traditionally have the development community provide those services to take the burden off the taxpayers.



Chuck Young - 50910 W. Nine Mile Road, complimented Gerri Stipp and the current Clerk on behalf of the residents for keeping the public informed. He believes the public must be kept informed about first and second readings for ordinances. Mr. Young believes all public hearings should be televised. Mr. Young is concerned when he sees projects moving forward that affect schools. Further, all of the Harvest Land Company negotiations were done in Executive Session and now that it is made public, the residents are disturbed. However, he believes time will correct it. He added he was involved in the defeated Grand Plan and now they are involved in something twice as big. He has no idea how they are going to fix it.



PURPOSE OF WORK STUDY SESSION - Proposed RUD Zoning Ordinance Amendment


1. Federal Grant Police Department Bike Patrol


Mayor McLallen reported the reason this item is before Council is because they needed to publish the grant and it requires formal Council approval.



CM-97-05-166: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by Mutch, MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To accept federal grant for Police Department Bike Patrol





Councilman Schmid will support the motion because he believes it has value. However, he is curious about how they have all the equipment before Council has authorized the Police Department to proceed with the grant. He assumes the action they are taking tonight is for approval and asked if that is accurate. Although, it appears to be a sufficient program, he believes they must remember $26,000 is a one time funding and they should determine how they will continue to pay for the program after the grant money is spent.


Mayor McLallen noted according to Chief Shaeffer’s memorandum to Council, they already approved the grant in September and asked why is Council taking formal action tonight.


Mr. Kriewall replied the action is to accept the grant and the Police Department just discovered they needed to hold a Public Hearing.



Vote on CM-97-05-166: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Kramer, Mutch, Schmid

Nay: None


2. Proposed RUD Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment No. 97-18.131


Mayor McLallen stated they will work from the attorney’s marked comparison draft. The Mayor added the city attorney and planning consultants’ prepared an additional document dated May 12, 1997 based on a conversation with a representative from Cambridge Homes and some issues that he raised concerning the RUD ordinance. Mayor McLallen stated if Council agrees, they will simply work through the marked draft as presented because she believes they have made many of the changes already and they only need to confirm them.


Mayor McLallen began with Part 1. She noted Residential Agricultural is now known as Residential Acreage and Single Family has been stricken for uniformity sake to show that it applies in the R-1 through R-3 One-Family Residential Districts. She noted a large portion of verbiage has been stricken and further clarifying verbiage replaces it.


During their deliberations, Councilman Schmid asked Council to consider whether this ordinance is good for the City of Novi because he believes this type of ordinance increases density. He said if they were to develop 100 acres of land with some undevelopable land on it, the landowner could perhaps only construct fifty houses. However, because an RUD provides credit for the undevelopable land, they can increase their numbers close to the 100 homes that can be built on 100 acres in a RA District. Councilman Schmid argued that it absolutely does increase density. Further, Councilman Schmid read that the advantage of an RUD is for open space and he believes the point he made at an earlier meeting is still accurate. He explained if they develop the land under its existing zoning, they would have equal, if not more open space than under an RUD or any other type of zoning that gives credit. He agrees it would not be public land, land owned by the city or owned by an association, but it would be open space. Councilman Schmid believes they write these ordinances for the developer, not the citizens. His point is to rule out the conception that this provides greater open space or less density.


Councilman Schmid asked how many homes could they build on 100 acres with thirty acres of woodlands and regulated wetlands? Mr. Rogers replied that would amount to 70 acres of developable land. If it is in a RA District, the minimum lot size is one acre. They would remove 20% for future roadways and that is where they come up with the 0.8 factor. He reported 0.8 x 70 is 56 potential lots if they intend to preserve the 30 acres.


Councilman Schmid asked Mr. Rogers to compute how many lots they would permit in an RUD? Mr. Rogers noted he would have to determine how many of those acres are in regulated state and local wetlands. He said if the 30 acres qualified, then they would compute the density on 70 x 0.8 for 56 lots.


Councilman Schmid asked if Mr. Rogers is suggesting they could only get 56 lots under the existing ordinance.


Mr. Rogers replied he was considering the proposed ordinance. Under the existing ordinance, they deduct subaqueous and submerged swampland area and he cannot determine what that constitutes in the regulated wetlands. He said if half the 30 acres were subaqueous, they would take 15 acres from 100 which would amount to 85 x 0.8 for 68 units. Mr. Rogers noted they could position the 68 units as detached or attached cluster on single family lots of less than one acre under the present and proposed RUD. Further, they would not be obliged to have all the lots one acre unless the developer wished to have some RA one acre lots and some R-1 or R-2 type lots.


Councilman Schmid believes they also want reductions for churches, schools, parks and so forth under the proposed ordinance. Mr. Rogers replied they include those types of neighborhood uses in the density computation. Mr. Rogers added they would get a few more lots and they would not be obligated to having all the single family detached homes on at least an acre lot.


Councilman Schmid said they would get greater density. Mr. Rogers said under the present ordinance, they get a slightly higher density because they are removing only the subaqueous.

Councilman Schmid asked if he is suggesting there will be fewer houses under the proposed ordinance. Mr. Rogers noted they are not talking about subaqueous or submerged swampland in the ordinance before them tonight.


Councilman Schmid asked if they take the same 100 acres would they get more or less lots under the proposed ordinance. Mr. Rogers replied they would get more lots because they would not have to have at least one acre for every home site. However, the density factor would still apply and would increase density to a degree.


Councilman Schmid asked if they were to develop the same 100 acres on acre lots and it had 30 acres of regulated wetlands, would they have more open space under conventional development or under the RUD. Mr. Rogers replied it depends on the kind of open space they are talking about.


Councilman Schmid is talking about open field space to look at, with nothing on it except woodlands, wetlands, or fields. Mr. Rogers replied under a conventional RA development with one acre lots, the homes would be scattered. However, under the RUD they would position the homes more closely and therefore, the open land would be more visible because it is contiguous.


Councilman Schmid restated his question by asking whether there would be more open space under a conventional subdivision or the possible RUD. Mr. Rogers replied the open space is there, but it is not in one unified area in the back half of the one acre lots under a RA. He noted that having a trail system with this kind of development is unlikely.


Councilman Schmid’s point is that the developers and planners like to talk about increasing open space without increasing the density. He noted they have already shown that they probably increase the density and they decrease the open space. He agreed that it is not in one spot, but he believes there is more open space under conventional planning.


Mr. Rogers stated it is the quality of open space that is different. Councilman Schmid said their views about quality probably differ. His idea of quality of open space is looking out his own back door to see the woods, animals and not see people.


Mr. Rogers noted it is also a matter of a reduced infrastructure because the RUD is a planned development.


Councilman Schmid’s only point is to discount what has been said by the planners. He explained that these kinds of developments not only increase density, but they also do not increase open space. In fact, he would say they give less open space because of the mass development in small areas of land. Further, he believes that knowing that they did not write this ordinance for individuals is important for the public. He believes it is written for developers to cut down their infrastructure cost. He added it also does nothing for the quality of life.


Councilman Kramer believes it is appropriate for people to have different views and he does not disagree with Councilman Schmid’s points. However, he noted there are different perspectives. He stated Councilman Schmid indicated it increases density. Councilman Kramer believes there may be a difference in density, but he believes Council is judiciously looking at the ordinance to insure that the density does not exceed planned levels that the master plan laid out. He believes there may be an adjustment in an "as built" density depending upon the details of a site. Councilman Kramer also agrees they are trading public versus private open space. He is not saying whether it is good or bad, but will say they are different. He added part of the premise of the RUD and the reason they would consider it would be for the benefits provided to both the city and the residents in terms of the amenities that would come with the development. He added that he would not discount the value of a regular platted subdivision because he believes they still need some of those. Councilman Kramer stated the task before them is how to proceed with development on the west side. He stated there are many environmental areas there and they need and want a number of large lot developments, but he thinks if there are reasonable benefits from an RUD planned development, this will permit them to work through plans to be certain that they get a good balance. Hopefully, when they are through with their review, they will have an ordinance that would allow them to do both in the city. However, he believes they need to define the spots for them so they can have the framework to create quality development.


Councilwoman Mutch believes they get so familiar with the terms or expressions that they use them without thinking about what they really mean. One such term is the concept of open space. Councilwoman Mutch believes Councilman Schmid articulated the idea that they can have large lot subdivisions with a certain amount of space that is privately owned versus publicly owned; then Councilman Kramer piggybacked on that and used the same terminology. She pointed out it is not really a matter of privately owned versus publicly owned. She believes when somebody develops property, they look at the market to decide if there is some possibility that people would choose to have one type of development over another. She stated it is still privately owned property, but there is some part of the market that land developers are expecting for which that concept has some appeal. Further, those residents who do not live in that neighborhood have the side benefit of having consolidated views that are not obstructed by what individual property owners might do with their individual yards. She believes that they should make distinction.


Mayor McLallen said there are two real densities. One is the master plan density which is used to predicate the city’s build out population and amounts to 0.8 per gross acre in the RA zoning. Then there is the zoning density that rigid lot size essentially controls. Mayor McLallen reported they can only build a maximum of 80 houses on 100 acres under the zoning density without any woodlands or wetlands. She added they are not able to build 100 houses, because both the rigid lot and zoning density can coincide when there is nothing else to consider on the property. However, she noted that begins to change in the real world when the land has other environmental considerations. She believes Councilman Schmid is correct when he says if they stay with a rigid lot size on the 100 acres, they will have less than 80 houses because they cannot configure around these significant features. Mayor McLallen stated the RUD development offers flexibility when those environmental features on private property have merit to be retained according to a decision making body. She explained they can then flex the lot size and they may move up from the rigid lot size that was calculated according to the environmental features. However, she adamantly noted they will never go beyond the 80 permissible units. She believes they have to be careful when they talk about which density they are increasing. She said they are not increasing the opportunity for an increase in master plan density; they are increasing the potential reality of how many lots can be developed within the community. She reiterated the number will never exceed the master plan density.


Mayor McLallen asked if there were any issues in Section 2404.


Councilman Kramer noted the word "prove" in the second to last paragraph is inappropriate. Mr. Watson stated the word should read "provide."


Councilwoman Mutch asked if they need to clarify "the use of City land" at the bottom of the page. She realizes it means land in the city and not municipally owned land, but believes it may imply that the city owns it. Mr. Watson stated he will edit the language to read "the use of land."


Councilman Schmid supposes it is a matter of semantics, but noted where the RUD states it "will reduce the visual intensity of development" he would guarantee a 50 house development on 10 acres is visually intense. Further, he asked how can they "provide privacy" when they develop an area this intensely. He believes privacy is when there is no home within 15 feet of each other. He does not believe this kind of development promotes privacy. Councilman Schmid had further issue with the rest of the language in the first paragraph. He believes it is great propaganda, but it has no value in reality especially in terms of privacy.


Councilman Kramer suggested that they remove the word "privacy."


Before they remove anything, Councilwoman Mutch believes there are different points of view and perspective of what is seen when looking at the same thing. She admits when she read the language the first thought that occurred to her is this type of development is for the homeowner that wants the privacy that comes when they have a drive that is set far enough back from a main road that the area in which they live is private in the sense that it is not sitting on the main road. Consequently, for that definition, removing the word privacy would not be necessary. She also believes "visual intensity" is a similar situation. She explained there is visual intensity if a home is on a cul-de-sac with six homes clustered. However, there is less visual intensity the further removed a person would become from that cluster of homes.


Councilman Schmid believes it is giving the wrong message because he does not believe they accomplish these things with this type of development. He explained a cluster is not private and is visually intensive. However, he does admit he understands Councilwoman Mutch’s view.


Councilman Kramer does not believe these terms are pivotal to the ordinance and he would support removing that language if they do not seem to change the intent of the ordinance.



Mayor McLallen asked if there is a consensus on the issue of privacy. She added she sees both sides of the issue and believes it would depend upon the particular development. She cited Chelsea Knoll at Nine Mile and Novi Roads as a good example of a cluster development that is hardly noticeable. She believes the residents have privacy in a very intense situation.


Councilman Schmid is not opposed to leaving it in.


Mayor McLallen moved forward to Section 1 on Page 2, Residential Unit Development Regulations. Mayor McLallen stated the issue was whether they should develop on 40 acres. She noted the numbers they discussed have been 10, 25, 40, 80 and 100. She stated the larger pieces were considered as offering the greatest possibility to attain all the goals about which they talked. Mayor McLallen asked whether 80 is a rigid number or do they want to stay within the range of 80. She asked what would happen if someone came in with 73 acres and meets the other requirements.


Mayor ProTem Crawford asked if there is any means for flexibility or appeal to address the comments raised by the Mayor. He reminded Council he would like to see some flexibility in this ordinance.


Mr. Watson interjected, the applicant can go to the ZBA.


Councilman Kramer suggested they add "approximately" or "about";although he is uncertain what legal term would be appropriate to allow them to flex that without having to spell it out.


Mayor McLallen stated if all the other criteria are valid, but the specific acreage is not, she asked what is the most fluid way to address this. Mr. Watson stated if they adopted the draft in this fashion, they could approve it conditioned upon them getting a variance from the Zoning Board of Appeals as to the acreage. He explained it would be like anybody that does not meet the dimensional requirement of the ordinance; they would have to make a case of practical difficulty.


Councilman Kramer asked whether the word "approximately" or another adjective would be legally appropriate. Mr. Watson replied he would not be legally comfortable with something that said "approximately" because Council will then be asking what is "approximately."


Mayor McLallen asked if this would be the place to address the right of redress. Mr. Watson replied there are instances in the zoning ordinance where rather than provide relief by means of a ZBA variance, they have waivers. He explained one instance would be parking lot and

greenbelt areas; when the Planning Commission reviews a site plan, they can grant a waiver for that under certain conditions. Mr. Watson said Council could provide a provision for the 80 acres, but they have to have some kind of criteria or basis for when they can do that.


Councilwoman Mutch asked if there is a way for someone to petition the city to be considered before they begin the process when they do not quite meet the acreage requirement. It would not be an approval, but would be an indication that the applicant is eligible for consideration at the beginning of the process. Mr. Watson replied there is no basis for doing that in terms of the ordinance. Mr. Watson believes they would want more information from the applicant before they could make that sort of indication.


Councilwoman Mutch asked if they could base it on the same sort of argument made to the ZBA; on a hardship basis. Mr. Watson asked if it was a regular site plan, they would not send the applicant to the ZBA to make that practical difficulty case without them presenting a site plan because Council would want to know what they are actually proposing. Further, Mr. Watson said they would want to know why they have a practical difficulty; to demonstrate that, they have to put the plan before Council.


Mayor McLallen believes they could address that by saying it could be waived upon review of a completed presentation on its merits.


Mr. Watson suggested that they could come up with some language for the basis under which they would consider such a waiver. He does not know if it might be a practical difficulty or another factor. He said they could look at that.


Councilman Kramer believes whatever language they look at, he would not like to give the indication that they would permit a large waiver of the acreage requirement.


Councilman Schmid asked if 80 acres is the recommended acreage. Councilman Kramer reminded Councilman Schmid that they moved that at their last work session.


Councilman Mitzel believes they have to draw the line somewhere.


Councilman Schmid agreed.


Mayor McLallen stated there is a consensus to send the issue of a waiver to the attorney to draft the appropriate language.


Mayor McLallen noted Page 2 reads, "an RUD shall include one-family dwellings. Further, "an RUD may also include:" and then there is a list.


Councilman Kramer believes instead of "shall include" it should read "consist of" because it is already saying it could have other things. He believes they already spell the other things out in the list. He noted the next sentence says it "may also include." He believes the basic construction is, "An RUD shall consist of detached one-family dwellings." All the rest is talking about other things that can go in.


Mayor ProTem Crawford believes when they say "consist of," it sounds as though the whole development needs to be that.


Councilman Kramer stated that is the basis and all the rest is A through H.


Mayor McLallen advised the comparison draft further clarifies A. It reads, "One-family dwelling clusters, provided that a portion of the residential component of the RUD is comprised of conventional one-family dwelling units." She said the proposed inclusion on the May 12 draft is, "One-family dwelling clusters, provided that a majority of the dwelling units are comprised of non-clustered, detached single-family units." The Mayor believes it gives a clearer definition. Further, "The Planning Commission and City Council shall review the mixture of residential dwelling types to determine whether the RUD plan meets the intent of this section." Mayor McLallen asked if they want to leave this as is or include Item A from the May 12 letter.


Councilman Schmid asked if there is any provision that suggests any of the lots have to be the size of the underlying zoning. Mr. Watson replied their comparison draft states that a "portion" has to be conventional. However, it does not define "portion" and that is one issue that they raised.


Councilman Schmid is not talking about numbers. He asked if there is anywhere that suggests that any of the lots have to be the size of the underlying zoning. Mr. Watson replied there is and it is in the sentence to which he just referred. He said the part that refers to the underlying zoning district is "comprised of conventional one-family dwelling units." He explained the conventional one-family dwelling unit means conventional development in terms of lots in accordance with the underlying zoning.


Councilman Schmid asked if it has to be defined because residential development does not mean clustered or multiple; it is one-family under R-4, R-3 and so forth. Mr. Watson said it would depend upon the zoning and that is how they use it elsewhere in the ordinance. He said when they talk about the other options, they compare them with a "conventional plan."


Councilman Kramer noted that element has then changed in their rewrite. Mr. Watson said to discuss the question further, it does not talk about how many have to be conventional.


Councilman Schmid noted they left out the word conventional in the rewrite. Councilman Schmid asked if having a minimum percentage of the subdivision as conventional would be possible. Mr. Watson stated they had already pointed out that Council has to deal with what they wanted to do with lot size in the cover letter of their May 12 draft. He explained they need to address how they want to handle reductions, when, the extent to which and so forth.


Mayor McLallen believes that whole conversation will come later in the comparison draft. Councilman Kramer asked if this is merely setting up the framework for the detail that follows. Mayor McLallen said that was correct and the actual lot area is on Page 6.


Councilman Mitzel believes they can use language from both of the drafts. He suggested that they keep, "One-family dwelling clusters, provided that a portion of the residential component of the RUD is comprised of conventional one-family dwelling units." from Page 2 of the comparison draft. However, they would then state they could have their clusters, provided that the overall majority of the dwelling units in the RUD are non-cluster detached.


Mayor McLallen stated Councilman Mitzel’s recommendation is to blend the language of the two drafts.


Councilman Kramer believes they are setting bounds on clusters with this language. Councilman Mitzel agreed and added after that, the Planning Commission and Council could review the mix as it is stated.


Mayor McLallen stated there is a consensus to blend the language to cover both situations.


Mayor McLallen noted the semantic change from "development" to "units" on Page 2. She moved on to Page 3 which addresses perimeter buffering. Mayor McLallen reminded Council that Mr. Arroyo presented a vivid graph of the rigid 330 feet and it would essentially render most of the property unusable. Consequently, they asked that the attorney’s and the planner’s rework the language so the intent to protect existing residential properties adjacent to an RUD would be protected by either constructing similar types of housing or putting in a buffer. However, she noted the buffering would be more flexible than a rigid 330 foot because they really did not get a true definition about why they are using 330 feet. Mayor McLallen added the May 12 letter includes new language regarding this issue.


Mr. Watson clarified by stating he has reviewed the language of the May 12 letter.


Councilman Mitzel is unclear about who prepared this draft. Mayor McLallen replied a local builder met with her and Mr. Arroyo to make some of these recommendations. After their meeting, Mr. Arroyo considered those recommendations and presented this draft as a possible improvement for consideration based upon another source. They further forwarded the May 12 draft to Mr. Watson for his review.


Mayor McLallen advised the question before them is how do they address the wording involving the buffering around the RUD using the intent of the buffering to enhance compatibility with existing residential zoning and still accommodate whatever the special features of the RUD site are.


Mr. Watson said he tried to prepare language that would provide buffering compatible with conventionally developed adjacent uses. Mr. Watson said they retained the 330 foot buffering requirement, retained the two exceptions in the existing ordinance and added revised C to provide buffering the same way they buffer other uses within the zoning district by a landscaped berm with opacity requirements and so forth. Mr. Watson said the additional language before them from May 12 would modify that by allowing a buffering transition area for purposes of open space, of detached single family units, schools, parks, golf courses and other features. In addition, there could be exceptions to the 330 foot strip that are similar to what is in the May 12 draft.


Councilwoman Mutch does not remember hearing where they derived 330 feet, but she is assuming the basic purpose is to ease the transition between one type of development and another. Councilwoman Mutch asked if Mr. Rogers could address what the buffering objectives are when they have two adjacent residential properties. She asked what would be the maximum buffering required if they conventionally developed them and what would be the most extreme difference. She further asked what would be the most they would require in terms of buffering. Mr. Rogers stated the 330 feet resulted from a row of street with homes stacked on either side in a conventional subdivision. He explained they took out sixty feet for the street and the remainder of 135 was applied to the depth of the lots.


Councilwoman Mutch believes that is the same logic that would explain why they would not require a buffer when its border is a main thoroughfare and the adjacent property otherwise is across from that thoroughfare. Mr. Rogers agreed that is correct as they currently propose it. He stated Item 2 B would permit single family detached dwelling units, but not necessarily of the equivalent size as what might be adjacent to the RUD property. He noted it is a departure from the present ordinance.


Councilwoman Mutch asked if he is referring to the size of the units or the lots. Mr. Rogers is referring to the size of the lots. Mr. Rogers added the transition area would include A through E from the May 12 draft. However, Council could reduce that transition area of 330 feet after the recommendation of the Planning Commission, if F, G or H and sub-items 1 and 2 were found to exist.


Councilwoman Mutch asked what kind of buffering distance would be involved between the most intense residential development allowed and the least intense residential development if they had back to back lots under the current ordinances. Mr. Rogers replied when an R-1 abuts an R-4, the minimum distance if they were back to back would be 30 to 35 feet for single family homes. However, for a cluster, it would be 75 feet.


Councilwoman Mutch asked if it were 75 feet, what is the advantage from a planning point of view to have 330 feet instead of 75 feet; she is not talking about residential next to industrial or next to a commercial center. Mr. Rogers replied the minimum of the minimum is 75 feet and added they could still construct a cluster next to a single family development for less than 330 feet if they make certain criteria as they list it on the May 12 draft. He said this is strictly a Council review option, otherwise 2, A-E apply.


Councilwoman Mutch believes 330 feet is considerably more in terms of setback than anything they have for anything else. Mr. Rogers said it is not really a setback because within the 330 feet under sub-item 2, they could put approved single family detached housing.


Councilwoman Mutch stated that has not been explained that clearly before; when they referred to a perimeter buffer, it sounded as though they had 330 feet of undeveloped space.


Councilman Mitzel asked if the 330 foot zone abuts another zoning district is it supposed to match the other zoning district in the development in the buffer area unless they have to consider the other criteria as they list it. Mr. Watson agreed.


Councilman Mitzel asked if they also permit them to construct parks, schools, or golf courses within that 330 foot zone as it appears in the May 12 draft. Mr. Watson agreed.


Councilman Mitzel’s question comes from the first sentence of the comparison draft that reads, "compatible with the zoning of adjacent property, where the RUD abuts a one-family district all standards of the Schedule of Regulations for the applicable one-family district shall be applied to a strip of land . . . " He asked what criteria are they proposing if it is not a single family district within the 330 feet. Mr. Watson believes it would be the regular setback.


Councilman Mitzel stated that would mean it would be 75 feet or the minimum rear yard setback. Mr. Watson agreed.


Councilman Mitzel asked whether they are using the term thoroughfare or arterial. Mr. Watson believes they actually define a major thoroughfare to be major arterial, arterial and minor arterial. Mr. Rogers agreed.


Councilman Schmid asked for further explanation. Mr. Watson repeated the question was, is the phrase "major thoroughfare" appropriate to use or should they use another phrase. Mr. Watson explained major thoroughfare is the correct phrase and they define it elsewhere in the ordinance.


Mayor McLallen added that all the tiers of the other roads are defined by that.


Councilman Mitzel stated that would then basically include the mile roads. Mr. Watson agreed.


Councilman Mitzel believes the comparison draft conforms to what they discussed at their last meeting. Councilman Mitzel asked if the berming came from the cluster option to follow what they currently require if they constructed a single family cluster. Mr. Watson replied it is closer to the requirements from the wall and berming requirements for adjacent zoning districts.


Councilman Mitzel asked if the 75 feet would be compatible with the single family clustering. Mr. Watson agreed.


Councilman Schmid asked if the building in the 330 feet must match the zoning it is up against. Mr. Watson replied, that is what it is intended to say and they can further clarify that.


Councilman Schmid stated if they had a one-family district with one acre lots and this abutted it, would they have to have one acre lots on the 330 feet. Mr. Watson replied they would unless A, B, or C were found to apply.


Councilman Kramer is slightly confused. He stated they have two documents before them and they are looking back and forth at both. He was reasonably in favor of the May 12 draft, but the language on the comparison draft seems to be written more clearly. Mayor McLallen believes they are almost identical except the format differs.


Councilman Kramer proposed that they take the first sentence they just spoke about where the first sentence of the lead in is clearer with regard to being compatible with adjacent property and blend it into the rewrite. He further asked if E is necessary on the May 12 draft. Mr. Watson stated they could easily delete it.


Mayor McLallen reiterated the May 12 draft is essentially, except for one line, identical; it is only formatted differently. She stated E is not on Page 3 and the line about standards and Schedule of Regulations is not there. She advised Councilman Kramer has suggested that the language on Page 3 in Paragraph 2 that says, "all standards with the Schedule of Regulations . . . " be worked into Paragraph 2 of the May 12 draft and he further asked if is E necessary. Mayor McLallen reminded Council that Mr. Arroyo wrote the May 12 letter with Mr. Watson’s review.


Councilman Mitzel asked Mr. Arroyo to point out if there are any substantial differences between the two drafts before them. Mr. Arroyo replied the May 12 draft defines the 330 foot area as a transition area instead of a buffer area. He said it is not really a buffer; it is really a transition area. Mr. Arroyo said it also included B, which are detached single family units meeting the requirements of the RUD excluding cluster development. This means, although it has to be conventional single family detached, it could be of a lot size that is different from conventional or the underlying. This would allow more flexibility within the 330 foot area. In the comparison draft, it would have to be a conventional matching the adjacent property. Further, they would determine the lot size that they would allow based upon their discussions under lot area.


Councilman Mitzel believes everything is the same except they added detached single family units. Mr. Arroyo noted D is also an addition; it seemed to make sense to include features of a cultural interest such as historic structures. Mr. Arroyo added he believes Item E could be struck, but then thought they probably cannot name every feature.


Councilman Kramer now understands the intent of E.


Councilman Mitzel understood from last week’s discussion that the main concern was that if the RUD site directly abutted another single family residential site that basically, the houses that would back that site would at least match the ones that were on that site. In other words, if they had two R-1 parcels abutting each other with half acre lots, the conventional on the backyards of the RUD would be half acre lots so it was compatible zoning as opposed to allowing any type of detached single family that met RUD standards. Councilman Mitzel knows there are areas where R-4 abuts R-1, but usually that is pre-existing zoning and quite often people buying in the R-1 district know that the adjacent land was zoned for a quarter or for third acre sites. In this case, he can see where they can use it as a transition and have some that would not necessarily be the full conventional standards. However, he would think for the ones that are immediately adjacent to neighboring zoning that they would want to have full conventional. Further, in cases where the RUD was larger zoning than the neighboring, he is not certain where they should say that they then have to meet the smaller zoning. He believes they would want to say that they would have to at least meet the zoning size of the neighboring property or the underlying zoning whichever is larger for that stretch between their internal road and the neighboring property.


Mr. Arroyo added there are obviously many approaches they could take. One is they could match the adjacent zoning lot for lot. The other would be to look at it from a different perspective in that because it is an RUD, they are going to have flexibility in the way they lay out the lots. Further, they are going to increase the likelihood there is open space where there is no development adjacent to property. He added because of the tradeoff, they may still allow some lots. Councilman Mitzel interjected, they still allow that. Mr. Arroyo noted there is no incentive to do it. He explained one thing the RUD does is that it provides incentive for the developer to set aside certain areas that they would not set aside now. Further, because they increase the potential for that, the tradeoff could be that they may either have more open space or have some smaller lots. If they do not like that, the other way would be to match them up.


Councilman Mitzel believes that matching them up would be more prudent because he does not think they would get the whole perimeter as open space. He added one major concern with the adjusted lot size ordinance was about someone buying in a half acre lot zoning district and the adjacent subdivision adjust their lot size down to a quarter or third acre with a similar housing style.


Councilman Mitzel stated the May 12 draft reads, "in no circumstances shall any dwelling unit in the RUD be located closer than 75 feet to any peripheral property line." and asked if that would mean that all the rear yards of any conventional zoning along the perimeter would have a 75 foot back yard. Mr. Arroyo said they cannot have a structure closer than 75 and that is the way it also appears in the comparison draft; it is not a change.


Councilman Mitzel asked when they mention the adjacent property is being built to the standards of the Schedule of Regulations for that property, would that be in addition to the requirement that they have a 75 foot backyard. He said it sounded like the last sentence in that whole section says, "no dwelling unit may be closer than 75 feet to any peripheral property line." Mr. Watson stated that was correct.


Councilman Mitzel noted regardless of whether it would meet RA or R-1 standards, the back yard would be 75 feet deep or there could be a strip of common space between the property lines. Mr. Watson agreed.


Mayor ProTem Crawford asked what is the intent and what is the effect of 2, C. Further, if they had a RA lot within the RUD and it was adjacent to another RA, why would they have to screen like developments from each other. Mr. Arroyo replied they would only have to provide the buffering if they are going to reduce the 330 foot area where they have conventional development. If they had a RA area that is next to a RA area, they are going to have one acre lots within the 330 foot strip. He reiterated as long as they maintain the 330 foot strip, they do not have to add the screen; it is only if they want to reduce the 330 foot strip.


Mayor ProTem Crawford said they could then have like developments no closer than 75 feet to the perimeter. Mr. Arroyo noted they require the screen only if they want to reduce the 330 foot area.


Mayor ProTem Crawford asked what would the 20 foot berm typically be constructed of. Mr. Arroyo replied it is fairly significant screening and would likely include a combination of a berm and plantings.


Mayor ProTem Crawford asked how much land would they need to construct a 10 foot buffer. Mr. Arroyo replied they would need a 3 on 1 slope so it would require 30 feet up to the crown and another 30 down.


Mayor ProTem Crawford noted that number seems impractical. Mr. Arroyo stated it is very extensive and they could use something less extensive. The question is what are they trying to buffer and how do they want the buffer to be. He added if they are going to have this development next to an existing subdivision and they want to buffer it so they do not really see it from their front yard, then an 8 to 10 foot high screen would be sufficient. However, they would require more buffering if they want buffering from all the possible elevations.


Mayor ProTem Crawford stated that is making the assumption that the neighboring properties do not want to see into an RUD and depending on the view , they may want to. Mayor ProTem Crawford does not have any suggestions about how they can change that, but he believes it could be something they are not really looking for in terms of restrictions and what they are really trying to accomplish.


Mayor McLallen noted this is an option that if they are reducing it, it is one thing they can do in the reduced area.


Councilman Mitzel asked if this is only required in the reduced area. He believes it reads they would have to do it along the entire site. Mr. Arroyo replied the area before paragraph A under 2 states, "The City Council, after review and recommendation of the Planning Commission, may vary the 330 foot depth in anyone for the following circumstances . . ."


Councilman Mitzel read, "where adjacent property is screened with a berm," but it does not mention that they only screen it in the area where they want to reduce the 330 feet. Mr. Arroyo noted the instance where they would vary it would be if they had either that screening or if they had the retention of existing regulated or unregulated wooded areas.


Councilman Mitzel believes it may only be an issue of semantics.


Mayor ProTem Crawford said C reads, "The adjacent property is otherwise screened from view of development within the RUD by one of the following, or by a combination of the following . . ." He assumes that means the berming, but asked how does Item 2 fit in. Mr. Arroyo replied they may have an area that abuts existing development where there is a 100 foot long stretch that has a good stand of existing regulated woodlands that is going to be preserved and they would not remove them to construct a berm. If they move along the stretch and the stand becomes more sparse, they could plant additional berming to have a continuous buffer.


Mayor ProTem Crawford asked if they could build in any flexibility into the 20 feet because it seems somewhat high for a rigid requirement in all circumstances. Mr. Arroyo agrees it seems high and noted that language was kept the way they originally drafted it.


Mayor ProTem Crawford assumes they are trying to move this forward for a first reading so he will pass over it for now. However, he hopes they can get more options in terms of flexibility for that requirement by the first reading.


Councilwoman Mutch believes mayor ProTem Crawford raised an interesting point about what are they exactly protecting adjacent property owners from. She said except where they have the more intense sighting of homes, she does not see anything objectionable from which they should be buffering them. Councilwoman Mutch appreciated the explanation that the 330 feet is a transition zone and believes she understands it a little better. However, they are now back to berming and obstructing the view so people do not have something presumably objectionable to look at. She agrees that they may be blocking the landscape that they are trying to encourage. She thought they wanted open meadows and so forth to exist as much as possible. However, if they begin constructing berms, they are creating a wall.


Mr. Arroyo believes the number of requests they get for reducing the 330 foot area would depend upon what they allow to happen within the 330 foot area. He said if what has to go within the 330 foot area is conventional development meeting current standards, they probably are likely to see some requests to vary that and this issue will come up. If they allow for detached single family that has some varying lot sizes within that 330 foot area, then they would probably get fewer requests to vary the 330 feet.


Councilwoman Mutch asked if there is some screening requirement under cluster housing. Mr. Rogers noted there is a 75 foot setback requirement. He is not certain about berming requirements, but he does know they require landscaping.


Councilwoman Mutch stated assuming they do not require berming, but there is a 75 foot setback and some screening required for a cluster, she would presume that will be the most objectionable adjacency question; that is RA one acre lots under the RUD next to a cluster stretch. She then asked why wouldn’t the current screening or setback requirements under a cluster option be sufficient. Mr. Arroyo replied it would depend upon the various criteria for a cluster and it would depend upon what criteria they come under. If it came under an environment feature option, then they would not require it. However, he noted there are other criteria and a matter of judgement so they could certainly take that position.


It seems to Councilwoman Mutch that it is very detailed and there is a potential for exception. As Mr. Arroyo suggested, she believes they will see how it will work in terms of requests for variances and she hopes there is a way to simplify it. She also believes they need to determine why they have buffering of any kind required and what is their most extreme example if that were to develop under anything other than an RUD in the same way. Mr. Arroyo said an alternative would be under the one-family clustering option that is currently on the books. He reported they would require a landscaped berm of at least 6 feet in height along the property boundary.


Mayor ProTem Crawford said the berm is 6 feet and does not indicate what has to go on top of it. Mr. Arroyo agreed and noted all it says is a " landscaped earth berm."


Mayor ProTem Crawford noted it goes on to say that there cannot be any spaces of more than 2 feet between the plantings and if there is, they need to plant shrubs between them. Mayor ProTem Crawford believes the berm is too extensive. Mr. Arroyo agreed and said an option would be to construct a 6 foot high berm as stated in the clustering option.


Councilwoman Mutch believes if they have to have clustering and one goal is to work with environmental assets of the site, then a 6 foot berm would be preferable to what they propose. She does not personally care for berms and believes they are unnatural in appearance. She thinks there are some things about this that indirectly provide incentives to have the clustering, if they use clustering at all. She said they may not use clustering and opt for some of the other elements. However, if there is clustering, she believes there is some incentive to move that clustering away from the perimeter and therefore, avoid those adjacency issues.


Councilman Schmid believes the issue is about similar type housing to the adjacent homes on the 330 foot strip. Mr. Arroyo said the issue is whether they would have to put in homes built on lots according to the underlying zoning district which could be different from the adjacent zoning.


Councilman Schmid asked if they had one acre lots surrounding the RUD, what homes would be put on the 330 foot strip. Mr. Arroyo replied if it is zoned RA, they would only be able to construct one acre lots under the comparison draft.


Councilman Schmid said Council could then reduce the depth of the 330 foot strip under certain circumstances. He asked what do they mean when they state if, "the parcel is of a narrow dimension and will not permit sound development . . . " Mr. Arroyo replied one example would be if they had an apparent parcel that happened to be fairly long and narrow that met the minimum requirement for an RUD. He explained if they took the 330 feet on both sides of the narrow side they may have virtually nothing left in the middle to do anything other than the conventional one acre development. Although it meets the RUD development criteria, they may not be able to do anything other than if it is RA zoning. Further, under that situation they may consider modifying the 330 foot width to allow more flexibility for that portion of the development and have other types of housing.


Councilman Schmid asked what does Item G, "due to the topography or existing abutting development, the development of the remaining portion of the parcel in question would result in an unreasonably restrictive treatment of the parcel." mean. Mr. Arroyo replied one example would be if they had steep topography near the border that would lend itself better to smaller lot design rather than a larger lot design where they might consider modifying it. Further, if the topography was such that the adjacent property was either substantially higher or lower so that they would hardly know that this development was next to it, they may consider modifying it. He believes there could be a number of instances that might apply. He believes the intent is to leave the door open if unusual circumstances presented themselves.


Councilman Schmid said if they do not have the land, they should not be an RUD anyway. He believes they are leaving the door open too extensively.


Councilman Mitzel stated it seems that they are not clear about what would happen where an RUD that is a RA abuts an R-2 subdivision. He believes the way it is currently written that the 330 feet must take on the character of an R-2. He believes it may be more realistic to say within the 330 feet they must have conventional for the underlying RUD zoning because it would be no different if they had an R-1 abutting an RA or vice verse. He explained if the RUD developer proposed conventional zoning, they could probably build whatever their underlying zoning is right up to that property line. Further, he believes the 75 foot rule that says no dwelling unit may be closer than 75 feet to the property line should really apply to the nonconventional dwelling units. In other words, if they build a standard subdivision meeting RA requirements abutting another RA development, then what is going to happen with that extra space between the lot lines. He asked if it is going to be counted as open space credits. He thinks if it is conventional abutting conventional, then they should just go forth with the conventional setbacks that are within the zoning ordinance. Further, where they want to put non-conventional (clusters, etc.), they would then apply the 75 foot setback from the periphery. Councilman Mitzel hopes the other Council members understand what he is trying to get at. He further explained if R-2 is abutting R-2, then they would just meet the R-2 standards or if RA is abutting R-2, they would then meet the RA standards. Councilman Mitzel knows they explained it where Council may grant a waiver for the 330 foot transition strip under A, B, C in the comparison draft and that it only has to apply in the particular area they wish to reduce the 330 foot strip. However, he noted it was only explained that way and the language is not clearly written.


Councilman Kramer is not certain he followed Councilman Mitzel’s comments regarding abutting zoning and he added that he supports Councilwoman Mutch’s comments about reducing the berm requirements.


Councilman Schmid explained when they have an RUD with RA underlying zoning, they will develop it as one acre lots. However, if there are half acre lots adjacent to that, Councilman Schmid believes they have to maintain the underlying RA underlying zoning as a minimum.


Councilman Kramer wondered if they were trying to say that they should develop the adjacent lots to the underlying zoning of the RUD or whether having it equivalent to its neighbors was acceptable. Councilman Kramer asked what would happen if a RUD abutted a RUD. Councilman Schmid believes if they had half acre lots, they would just continue.


Mayor ProTem Crawford asked if they would want multiple buffered around the inside of the RUD if multiple is surrounding the RUD. Councilman Kramer noted the May 12 draft indicates that it has to be detached single family units meeting the requirements of the RUD ordinance.


Councilman Mitzel noted that is only stated in the May 12 draft.


Councilman Kramer likes the format of the May 12 draft and that is why he has been using it. He asked if they should decide from which draft they are working.


Mayor McLallen stated that is what this process is meant to do. She said the question before them is, does the May 12 edition have merit that they want to include or does the majority want to leave it out.


Councilman Mitzel said his position is, immediately adjacent development should meet the underlying zoning if it is touching conventional single family development. Consequently, that would not include the May 12 language at least at the boundary. He may be willing to say that 200 feet away on the other side of the internal street they could start some sort of transition, but he is not certain how they could incorporate language like that. He reiterated that the direct adjacency must match the underlying zoning.


Mayor McLallen asked if the language in both documents state that "In order to assure development that is compatible with the zoning of adjacent property, where the RUD abuts a one-family district all standards of the Schedule of Regulations for the applicable one-family district shall be applied to a strip of land no less than 330 feet in depth adjacent to such one-family district." and would that mean all the houses in the 330 feet will meet all the requirements of the underlying classifications. Mr. Watson noted it states it is of the "adjacent one-family district."


Mayor McLallen asked if that means anything they build within the 330 feet has to meet the standards of regulations within that 330 feet that happens to be within the RUD and the zoning that is under that. Mr. Watson stated that was not what they intended this language to do and obviously it is not clear enough. He said the language was intended to state that they would pick up the requirements of the abutting one-family district. Mr. Watson said they would draft clearer language to state the intent.


Mayor McLallen said they would then get into the question about what is this 330 feet. She asked if it is a transition between what exists on one side of the property line and what they propose on the other side of the property line, and how do they bring them into harmony. In her opinion, it does not necessarily mean bringing them into a mirror image. She believes that is where the language is heading and asked if that is what they want. Mr. Watson asked Council if that is what they want.


Mayor McLallen’s impression is that some of this language indicates that the 330 feet is a transition from existing or future development and some of the conversation indicates that they are going to create mirror images. She asked if that is what Council wants.


Mayor ProTem Crawford said if R-4 development surrounded the RUD, they do not want R-4 development around the perimeter inside the RUD if the underlying zoning is R-1 or RA.


Councilman Schmid said Councilman Mitzel’s point was that it would be the minimum of the underlying zoning on that RUD piece. In other words, if it were RA, it would be RA zoning.


Mayor ProTem Crawford suggested that they should indicate it is not less than the underlying RUD.


Mr. Watson noted apparently that is the consensus.


Mayor McLallen would like to hear what the consensus for the intent is.


Councilman Mitzel said if he understands the question correctly, within the 330 feet it is either the underlying zoning for the entire 330 or is it only at the border and then transitions into something else within the 330 feet. In other words, they would have underlying zoning at the property line and somewhere within the 330 feet they may allow something smaller as they work their way toward the interior. The other option is that the entire 330 foot area would stay with the underlying zoning. Mayor McLallen agreed.


Councilman Kramer thought the intent of using the word transition means they are trying to blend the two and provide things that are somewhat compatible with each other. He said if they take the proposal to the extremes and the RUD is RA and if they required that the perimeter be RA, then they are forcing a visible difference. However, if they were trying to use the area and smooth the transition, he believes they would want to have the abutting one as opposed to the whole street, be the same and work from there.


Councilman Mitzel reminded Council that the distance they are talking about would be a single lot, a road and another single lot; it would be one street with lots on both sides.


Councilwoman Mutch said it sounded as if they are assuming that the RUD will have an underlying zoning of RA. However, it may actually be an assemblage of different zoning or be less intense than what it is adjacent to. She does not see any problem with the RA remaining RA when RA is adjacent to R-4. However, she also does not have a problem if they allow someone to come in with a proposal that says on this perimeter they are next to a certain type of development and in that part of their project they would like to have something similar and create a transition within the development. She said they may find that is not what the zoning is on that adjacent piece of property. She said they should keep in mind that it is a piece of property for which they intend to offer flexibility and if it were a conventional RA development, it does not matter if it is RA or R-4 next to it because they can still build on it. She said in cases like this, incompatibility would not enter into it. However, if they have a large piece of property with different types of zoning and are allowed an overall certain type of density with the idea that they look at the entire piece of property, then it may be that they might propose some combination of single family detached, some cluster and so forth, and that the best place to put that clustering might be on the property that is adjacent to something less than RA. However, on the large piece of property and the part that is adjacent might have RA zoning as opposed to something else.


Mayor ProTem Crawford does not believe he got an answer about what the intent is and the effect of this was. He asked what would happen if the perimeter buffering was not in the ordinance. He is not suggesting that they discuss this now, but to him this is written because someone thinks that an RUD is so terrible that it has to be buffered from the surrounding land by 330 feet of some type of development or a 20 foot berm. He does not believe that is necessarily the case. He said perhaps the surrounding landowners that are not inside the RUD might like to look into the RUD to see a swamp, a lake, or a stand of trees and added he does not agree with that intent.


Councilman Kramer reread what they wrote in the May 12 draft and advised that it just says detached single family units meeting the requirements of the RUD ordinance excluding cluster development of single family. He noted it is left open and that it would consider including all of the things they just talked about for all the individual circumstances. He proposed that they consider the language that is before them in this draft.


Councilman Mitzel noted it does not say conventional.


Councilman Kramer asked if he means conventional in terms of underlying zoning. Councilman Mitzel agreed.


Councilman Kramer stated it seems they have come up with different circumstances that would give them different logic for what it ought to be and noted it does not specify that. Consequently, it would have to be discussed.


Councilman Mitzel believes they have two situations. One is that the RUD abuts single family zoning; in that case, they trigger the 330 foot zone. Right now they are saying in that 330 foot zone it must meet conventional underlying zoning of the RUD. The other case is where it abuts anything else, including a major thoroughfare and then there is a 75 foot setback. Councilman Mitzel said the 330 foot zone only takes effect where it is abutting other single family residential districts. He said they then have the conditions where they can reduce that 330 foot zone if they have items A, B, C, E, F, G, or H.


Mayor McLallen believes that is the real issue that has emerged. She said Councilman Kramer pointed out they can construct anything but a cluster on the periphery. However, to permit flexibility based on what they see from an individual petitioner and the merits of the individual land that they are supposedly trying to protect, rather than say that it has to be a certain size they should let the quality of the individual project tell them. She said they know it cannot be anything other than single family homes, but what size lot they are going to be on is going to be dictated by the environmental features they are trying to save. She added if the point of the RUD is to allow flexibility based on specific sites of land wherever they are, if they create all these regulations they are self-defeating when they get the specific land. It sounds great in a room like this, but she asked what happens when a plan comes forward and they have to apply all these rigid regulations. She believes they will be back to an ordinance that was not used for fifteen years.


Councilman Schmid said that was a good point. He said unless they have a piece of land to fit this ordinance, they should not be using it because they should be using conventional development just like most of the other development in a RA district. They have this because if they have a RA zoning with half million dollar homes on them and they construct an RUD next to it, he does not think they would want to construct R-4 lots. He believes they would want to construct a compatible type zoning that will not upset the neighbors. Councilman Schmid does not think what Councilman Mitzel has suggested is too restrictive. He does not believe underlying zoning should be a hardship for anybody.


Mayor McLallen asked if there is a consensus to leave item 2, B as written in the May 12 draft. She stated Mr. Arroyo noted that this offered greater flexibility, is still under Council’s control and that it depended upon the particular site. The other side is not to be flexible in the perimeter area and only use the site’s underlying regulation. The question is, which one does the majority of Council prefer.


Councilwoman Mutch asked if they are only asking to insert 2, B of the May 12 draft. Mayor McLallen said that is correct, because there is a consensus on the rest.


Councilwoman Mutch reminded there was a major change regarding the berming. Mayor McLallen said she has not gotten down that far.


Mayor ProTem Crawford asked if they are removing 2, B from the comparison draft and inserting 2, B from the amended May 12 draft. Councilman Mitzel replied they would remove the language that says, "meeting the underlying zoning" and replace it with, "detached, single family units meeting the requirements of the RUD Ordinance (excluding cluster development of single family development) may be constructed on the 330 foot area."


Councilman Schmid asked if it could be on any size lot? Mayor McLallen replied it could and could also include the underlying zoning, but it would not state that specifically.


Mayor McLallen stated the consensus is to leave the language that reads "meeting the underlying zoning."


Mayor McLallen stated the next major issue was the effect of the berm. She advised the language in both drafts is similar. Mayor McLallen stated if they offer any variation in the 330 foot buffer, she asked if Council wants one variation to be the large berm which according to the planners is more excessive than any of the other berming they allow in the city. The substitution was to use the berming that is typically the most restrictive berming which is currently in the cluster ordinance.


Mayor McLallen reported Council consensus is to adopt the 6 foot berm.


Mayor McLallen asked if there are any other issues in the perimeter situation that need to be clarified.


Councilman Mitzel noted another issue is if the RUD is adjacent to single family zoning, but the adjacent development was not developed as conventional. In other words it was an RUD also and he is not certain how they want to address it. He said it could be one factor that they can consider for reducing the 330 foot area. Mayor McLallen replied they will know if a plan is an RUD plan or not when it comes it and they could consider it then.


Councilwoman Mutch thought they just agreed that they would conform to underlying zoning where it abuts single family and asked what difference does it make if it is next to an RUD because the other RUD must do the same thing.


Mayor McLallen agreed and added that because there is no multiple family in an RUD period, it is irrelevant.



BREAK - 8:34 P.M. until 8:52 P.M.


Mayor McLallen stated they will begin with Item 3, Density on Page 4 of the comparison draft. She noted they removed R-4 because RUD will not be an option of R-4 zoning.


Mayor McLallen read, "Density shall be measured based upon gross site acreage, excluding identified wetlands or watercourses which are regulated by Parts 301 and 303 of the Natural Resources an Environmental Protection Act, 1994 PA 451, as amended, or Chapter 12, Article V of the Novi Code of Ordinances, but not excluding quality wetland less than two (2) acres regulated by such laws." Mayor McLallen stated to determine gross density on a 100 acre RA site, she asked if they would take the gross acreage and subtract the protected wetlands not less than two acres. They would then take the sum and multiply it by the dwelling units per acre which is 0.8 to calculate the amount of units per acre. Mayor McLallen noted that would be the absolute cap for density not to be exceeded under any issue within the proposal. Mr. Rogers agreed and noted before this draft, they only took out subaqueous and submerged swampland.


Councilman Mitzel believes the language was from the preservation option exception Parts 301 and 303 used to be called something else. Mr. Watson stated that is correct; they revised the environmental laws into a single code.


Councilman Mitzel believes they should use the same definition that is in the preservation option for quality wetlands. He further believes they should add it to the overall definition section of the zoning ordinance.


Councilman Mitzel believes this is a good starting point and that it should be consistent. He added that the Planning Department provided some information that he had requested about some of the existing developments that they had in the last couple of years. He advised they gave them data on eight conventional subdivisions in terms of gross acreage, the wetland acreage and net acreage. He advised in all cases, the density based on the net acreage is below dwelling per acre factors. Basically, he believes this definition brings the ordinance into alignment with what they have been seeing in conventional subdivision development within the city.


Mayor McLallen stated Part B reads, "An additional credit of 0.8 dwelling units per acre of RUD open space may be granted to the applicant by the City Council after review by the Planning Commission, provided that such open space is dedicated to the use of the residents of the RUD and is located within the RUD where it . . ." and the Mayor noted there is a series of a-h items. She noted the May 12 amended draft added item(I). Further, they would consider the additional credit if something provides a benefit to the residents, preserves an important stand of trees or other environmental significant features, provides a buffer adjacent to wetlands, woodlands or lakes, if it provides space for environmentally sustainable treatment of stormwater, if it preserves important environmental features as recreational amenities to neighborhoods within the proposed development, if it provides a visual buffer from adjacent properties or rights-of-way, if it preserves features of cultural interest such as historic structures, if it sets aside land for recreational use or amenities. The Mayor read, "the area eligible for this additional open space credit shall exclude all identified wetlands . . . " and added it is a reiteration of the first part.


Councilman Mitzel noted it is slightly different in the sense that it does not exclude lakes. He added it only references the wetland act and does not reference the inland stream act.


The Mayor continued, "However, in no circumstances will the overall dwelling unity density in the RUD, including any additional dwelling unit credit earned for open space, exceed the maximum dwelling unit density computed utilizing the gross acreage of the entire parcel and the allowable density of the underlying zoning district . . . "


Mayor McLallen stated this is the heart of the RUD. She said if a project grants these benefits to the community at large, this is the incentive for that improvement.


Councilman Mitzel said the last paragraph reads, "no circumstance will the overall dwelling unit density in the RUD . . . exceed the gross acreage." Councilman Mitzel asked if that is gross acreage excluding the wetlands. Mr. Watson replied that is inclusive.


Councilman Mitzel supposes they could say that, but he does not believe it is mathematically possible. He explained the credit does not allow them to get credit for the wetland and noted they could not get up that high anyway.


Mayor McLallen said Item I in the amended May 12 draft read, "provides traditional neighborhood institutional uses such as churches and public schools and associated open space." The Mayor explained that would be property that was available for an additional credit under this criteria. Further, in the bottom paragraph it says, "The area eligible for this additional open space credit shall exclude all identified wetlands regulated by 1979 PA203 (Goemaere-Anderson Wetland Protection Act), or Chapter 12, Article V of the Novi Code of Ordinances, but shall not exclude quality wetlands less than two (2) acres regulated by such laws and shall not exclude open bodies of water proposed as a recreational amenity within the RUD development." Mayor McLallen noted this more clearly addresses the lake.

Councilman Mitzel said if Council were to give density credits, he believes it should only be applied to land that is permanently set aside as open undeveloped land and therefore, he would not agree with Item(I). He believes they should not get open space credit for any land where they plan to construct a structure because it is not permanently being set aside in the sense of open space. Further, any land that is permanently set aside for open space should have the same requirements for preservation and a maintenance mechanism as it is in the current preservation option. He believes it is also addressed in the open space option. Councilman Mitzel added it requires the attorney’s review and how the land is going to be held and maintained, etc. Councilman Mitzel does not agree there should be density credits for a lake. However, more fundamentally is opposed to the idea of a density credit being an incentive. He can see allowing transfer of development within the RUD from one upland area to another upland area. He explained they would calculate how many units they are allowed as the basis and if they want to concentrate their development some place, that would be the incentive because there would be less infrastructure cost, less development cost and it would also benefit the city because there would be less maintenance of that infrastructure. Further, he cannot agree to say that because they are going to save this buildable land, they cannot only move the units that they were going to build there to the other part of the site, but they will also get additional bonus units. He would rather have a mechanism similar to what is in their other options. He said if they are going to set aside a percentage of their buildable land, then they will credit them likewise in the sense that they will allow them flexibility in the lot sizes or allow a cluster. In other words, make it a free moving scale that would not be as restrictive as the preservation option or the cluster option. It would allow a lot of flexibility, but it would not exceed the units that they would have built if they went conventional. He added they already have a mechanism in the lot area section of the ordinance that would require that some units would be built conventional. Councilman Mitzel reiterated that he opposes density credits for saving land that they are going to make as open space. However, he would agree to transfer those units to another part of the site, and provide flexibility in lot sizes and configuration of the houses as incentive to allow less infrastructure cost.


Councilman Schmid concurred with Councilman Mitzel because he too has a problem with allowing an additional credit of 0.8 dwelling units when a developer set aside the types of things as they are listed in the proposed ordinance. He added this goes back to his concern about the increased density because it exceeds the underlying zoning density if they use this concept.



Mr. Rogers said it exceeds the density if they lay out the lots meeting the minimum standards of the RA or the R-1 zoning. He noted the last paragraph indicates that they cap out density to that of the land use plan of the gross-gross acre of the site times the underlying zoning and still be consistent with the master plan. Mr. Rogers continued by stating that a developer in an RUD adds a lot of improvements in preservation easements, in common open space or keeping 50% of a lake open to all of the people in the development. He reminded Council the density credit is an optional credit of the Council by the recommendation of the Planning Commission. He added it could only increase by 0.8 additional dwelling units at the lowest density level. He stated it may not be more than 10-15% units than the base density would allow. He does not suspect that every RUD will have a lot of these credit areas and he reminded Council that they do have a cap. He said the cap is the total area of the site times the density of the underlying zoning. He said the underlying zoning would include all the land within that gross area.


Councilman Schmid asked what would the cap be for 100 acres of conventional development. Mr. Rogers replied the cap would be 80.


Councilman Schmid asked what would the cap be if they added 30 acres of woodlands. Mr. Rogers replied that would equate to 70 acres and would amount to 56 units. Mr. Rogers explained it could be somewhere between 56 and 80 depending upon how many credits they could derive, but it still can never exceed 80 units.


Councilman Schmid said for conventional the cap would be 56, but on an RUD it could be 80. Mr. Rogers reminded Councilman Schmid that an RUD does not require 100% one acre lots and that is the difference.


Councilman Schmid argued the difference is density and would increase density by 24 lots in this particular case. Mr. Rogers doubts that a large percentage of the RUD lots would be one acre lots. He believes some would be R-2 and R-3, and they would cluster them around one part of the RUD or another.


Councilman Schmid reiterated that extra credit should not be permitted and he further questions whether they should build the development on very small lots.


Councilman Kramer believes this is a reasonable approach to development. He said they are recognizing and taking away for basic development in recognizing that they cannot build on wetlands. He stated they are also looking at the benefits that they are providing and he believes the RUD is providing additional benefits to its residents for the ability to build a few more homes. Councilman Kramer thinks they can further discuss whether a gross acreage cap is the appropriate cap. He noted from a planning perspective, it is consistent with the way they plan the city and he does not have a basic problem with that. He believes Councilman Schmid is correct in that for some building arrangements they would be able to get additional homes, but he does not think they will violate any of the city planning. He believes the benefit is a more pleasing and higher quality development with the amenities they are spelling out in the ordinance. Further, he believes the lake’s description is close to that of a grassy field, except the grass is water. It is open space and people use it. He said if they are going to provide a credit for open space, he believes the logic of a developed accessible lake fits in with the rest of the definition. He favors the gross calculation at this point, but would like to hear further discussion.


Councilman Clark shares some of Councilman Schmid’s concerns in that some items are somewhat broad. He does not have a problem with a lake because they are talking about providing benefits to the residents of the development. He believes there is an increase to the density, but given the fact they have a developer providing a man made lake, he is obviously not going to develop a project where everything is going to be constructed in one small area. Further, if the lake is open to only the residents, he believes they need to clarify that to avoid future problems.


Councilwoman Mutch stated she agrees with Item g because the buildings around Novi that most would agree are historic structures by their nature tend to be on main roads. Consequently, as development has moved across the city and before anyone ever moves into that developed neighborhood, bull dozers have already removed those historic homes before they ever built the first new house. She said they do not even know, let alone appreciate what had been there was historic. She believes for most people, as the city develops to the west and north, that becomes the limit of their experience in Novi. She stated very few people venture further west or north on a regular basis so they are unaware of the fact where they are most likely to see the RUD’s is where a good number of these remaining historic buildings are. She believes this would provide some incentive to keep the buildings.


Mayor ProTem Crawford believes these items are deliberately written to be general to provide a lot of flexibility and whether they grant it or not lies with Council. However, he added that he believes there are many important safeguards left.


Councilman Schmid asked what is meant by, "provides a visual buffer from adjacent properties or rights-of-way." and if that means it is the perimeter of the property. He said they put in restrictions and then they provide credit for the restrictions.


Mr. Rogers said if they wanted to, they could spread out the homes on all these open areas and do away with all of the open space. However, if they see fit to preserve non-regulated lands that make up the fabric of an RUD, that is where a certain degree of density credit would apply. He asked what incentive would there be to leave a 15 acre meadow that may have many environmental assets to it in terms of habitat, wildlife and so forth. He said they did not preclude them from using that land, they are just setting it aside.

Councilman Schmid is bothered by the fact that they can receive a credit for setting aside a meadow that may look pretty to somebody when they can build on that land and it could look good to somebody that lives on it. Councilman Schmid believes the developer is really going after the smaller lots so they do not have to put in additional infrastructure. He is not worried about what is good for the developer, he is concerned about what is so good about a mixed type of housing in the City of Novi. He believes if they pass this ordinance with these kinds of gifts, every piece of land is going to have this because they can then put homes in a small area with small lots with a lot of open space. He believes the city deserves large lots and further believes they are too liberal about what they can preserve.


Mr. Rogers said large lots do not insure that they will build an expensive house. He noted Barclay, Beckenham, Broadmoor and Autumn Park are all on one third acre lots.


Mayor Pro Tem Crawford said Item f states, "provides a visual buffer" and asked if that is referring to the buffer they addressed earlier. Mr. Rogers replied they would not want to call a 20 foot strip of grass a visual buffer. He said they should clarify this to be something more substantial.


Councilman Mitzel believes the key is that it has to be dedicated to the use of the residents. and anything in a building site envelope or a lot would not be considered because it would not be dedicated. He stated in those instances where a developer sets aside environmentally important features such as b and if they set aside recreational areas such as e and h, they should be allowed to reduce the lot size. Councilman Mitzel stated they would compensate them for the fact that they could have built there, but now that they are not, they can get the same number of houses built on another part of the lot. He asked why should they offer a bonus from a planning standpoint and not provide a bonus under the preservation option or the open space option. Mr. Rogers replied the RUD is a unique option. Further, the other options used in the city are for individual subdivision development and other than Bristol Corners, they are relatively small. He said it could be that the RUD would preclude a 500 acre site from being divided into four or five different types of subdivisions under the preservation option. Mr. Rogers said it encourages large area development with other features that they could provide within it.


Councilman Mitzel asked how that would differ from Section 28. He noted there is an elementary school site, there is a 100 acre core woodland area preserved, and there are interconnecting subdivisions. Mr. Rogers replied the incentive in that area was that all of the homes were constructed with a 35% reduction in lot size.


Councilman Mitzel noted they did not get a bonus. Mr. Rogers stated the bonus was the lot size reduction.



Councilman Mitzel said that is what he is talking about. He believes they should give them a lot size reduction as an incentive. He explained if they do conventional development with any of the other options, the developer has to hold to what the buildable land can carry. However, the RUD plan offers bonuses and he does not see what the real drive is for that. Mr. Rogers replied it is another option.


Other than it is another option, Councilman Mitzel stated they could have another option that says a developer could come in and build twenty story high-rises. He reiterated that he does not understand the purpose of a density credit.


Councilwoman Mutch stated it seems that on a smaller scale the incentive to the developer to pursue one of those other options is that by getting a lot size reduction they are not only able to work with the topography of the site to get the maximum number of lots, but they are also able to assemble some open space or park area and so forth. She said when they are dealing with a much larger site, she believes the RUD is hoping to encourage unified large scale development as opposed to patchwork development. She explained they do not have that same need because they have enough land to work with so that they can keep certain features intact. She believes the incentive is different, but she is not saying it is necessarily better or worse.


Councilman Mitzel said if they gave a density credit to anyone that developed under conventional and the other zoning, he believes they would also like to have that incentive. He would think the incentive really is that they can put in the same number of homes for less infrastructure. Councilman Mitzel proposed if there were 5,000 undeveloped acres developed under RUD, they are talking about an extra 4,000 homes.


Councilwoman Mutch reminded Councilman Mitzel that whatever the acreage is, they cap the density. Councilman Mitzel argued there would still be an additional 4,000 homes that they could build under conventional zoning in this city today. He noted under conventional zoning they cannot build in the wetlands. With that in mind, according to the exact formula that they just went through and the data provided from the Planning Department, it proves that their net site area is only approaching what the density allows. In other words, R-1 allows 1.65 and all the R-1 conventional zoning that they have developed on a net site basis they have between 1.05 and 1.33 units per acre. However, on a gross basis they have between 0.99 and 1.3 units per acre. Councilman Mitzel stated this density is basically going to allow more homes to be built than what all the current ordinances currently allow. Although he understands that the RUD has some discretions as such, his point is that this mechanism is going to allow it. In addition to the incentive of saving open space and consolidating development, it is going to allow a lot more homes to be built in the city. He added that the Mayor has already raised some concern about how this would affect the overall planning of the city because the planning elements placed in there were based on gross acreage in the master plan. He pointed out to Council that all the conventional zoning preservation option development has been on the net site area and the RUD would allow a great deviation from this.


Mr. Rogers noted the cluster option does include wetlands. Councilman Mitzel agreed and believes that is a good example. He reported there was one cluster option that had 27 gross acres and 19.4 were wetlands which amounted to 8 net acres. He reported that amounted to 32 lots which if they take the whole site, it is 1.17 units per acre in R-1 zoning. Councilman Mitzel stated if they look at buildable area, they have 4.03 units per acre on that buildable site. Councilman Mitzel believes the majority of Council wants to permit density credits and if so, he would like to address some specific issues he has about those credits.


Councilwoman Mutch emphasized what Mayor ProTem Crawford stated earlier which is that they should remember that a-h are options for Council. She said if they really want to take it to the extreme, the RUD is a negotiable contract and Council has to ultimately approve the contract. She reminded them that they do not require that Council grant any credit. She stated there are other things that can be done in an RUD that do not have to be done at all under conventional development.


Mr. Fried stated as Council has been discussing density and credits as though Council deems the word "may" as permissive. It is his opinion "may" might not be permissive and they may require it if they meet this criterion. Mr. Fried believes Council should not consider this "may" as may and instead, should consider it as shall. He added sometimes "may" is used as "shall" and sometimes "shall" is used as "may." He asked Council to be careful.


Councilwoman Mutch asked how would they word it differently if Council wants it to be permissive. Mr. Watson believes they would provide specific language indicating that it is within the discretion of Council and add language providing a method to exercise that discretion. Mr. Watson stated the real point is that they should not rely on the fact that there is a word "may" there and presume that leaves it totally up to whether Council does or does not do it.


Mr. Fried noted they can change the language and add some criteria so they would have to meet it before they are required to give it. However, he reiterated they would have to change this around.


Councilwoman Mutch’s point is that there is such a range of amenities and there are clearly certain things that would not deserve any kind of credit. However, there are others that seem worth the trade off to Council. She said if they do not have that flexibility, it needs to be explained that they don’t. Further, if this is the standard, it is very nonspecific. Mr. Fried believes Council may not have that discretion as it is currently written.

Councilwoman Mutch believes Council needs to decide whether they want that discretion and direct the attorney to rewrite the language.


Mayor McLallen asked if Council agrees that they should have a discretionary power.


Mayor ProTem Crawford stated the first sentence under Item B states that they may grant and ask for an additional credit of 0.8 dwelling units per acre assuming that the underlying density is one acre or if that is the cap of credits that they would want in any underlying density. For example, he asked if the intent is for 2.7 credits under R-3 after they consider the credits. Mr. Rogers replied that Mayor ProTem Crawford is correct about the number; it is point 0.8 regardless of underlying zoning.


Mayor ProTem Crawford asked if the intent is to give an underlying density credit for what the underlying density is. Further, if that is the intent, what is the rationale to limit it to 0.8. Mr. Rogers used R-3 as an example and said if they preserve one acre of this open space, they could get 2.7 additional dwelling units up to the cap. However, they do not provide for that in the way it is currently written. He believes it could be written to provide for the underlying zoning and that density would be the multiplier.


Mayor ProTem Crawford said, then the intent or philosophy behind the credit is that someone is setting a portion of land aside on which they are not going to build. Mr. Rogers said it is another option. He asked Council to recall that during earlier discussions on this ordinance it was one for one; if they reserved one acre of open space, they got one additional dwelling unit. However, they changed the latest draft from one to one and now it coincides with the density of the RA. Mr. Rogers added that most of the undeveloped land in the city is RA.


Mayor ProTem Crawford said if it goes forward in this form for a first reading, they may want to address what the intent was. Mr. Rogers stated the intent of this density credit is to give a credit and the question is how much credit do they want to give. He reminded Council they cap it out so they do not exceed the overlying density.


Mayor ProTem Crawford said if someone came in with an RUD that was zoned R-2 and R-3 it could make quite a difference.


Mayor McLallen asked if Council agrees they should offer density credits as part of the RUD. She explained by asking for every acre that a developer preserves, would Council offer a credit.


Mr. Rogers added the areas that are listed would be presented by the applicant, and verified by staff and consultants.


Mayor McLallen said the philosophy behind the credit is preserved, perpetual open space dedicated to the use of the residents and asked if Council philosophically wishes to grant a 0.8 to one density credit for each preserved space.


Councilman Clark will vote no until they explain it more clearly.


Mayor ProTem Crawford asked if they are asking specifically about the philosophy of the 0.8 or are they asking do they want to grant 0.8 credit. Mayor McLallen said they just want to determine if they should grant some credit.


Mayor ProTem Crawford voted yes.


Councilman Clark restated he could possibly support it after Mr. Fried made some language changes.


Councilwoman Mutch thought the question is, are they interested in density credits at all and she is willing to discuss the concept of credits.


Mayor McLallen stated they will eventually have to say philosophically decide whether they believe under certain circumstances, at the discretion of this and future Council’s, whether they will or will not grant a density credit.


Councilman Kramer believes there are two issues. He advised Councilman Clark wants the "may" issue addressed, but it was never brought it to the forefront for discussion and a decision. Further, It sounds as though they have a consensus on getting "within the discretion of the Council with criteria added" element agreed to. However, the second issue is if they are still considering whether they want to move on with the credit, how many of the (a) -(I) items do they have issue with. Then they can identify the ones they have issue with and address those so they can see if they still have something that they still like.

Mayor McLallen reported at this point, the majority of Council would like to discuss the possibility of giving density credits.


Councilman Mitzel believes they need to include the criterion laid forth in the preservation option that talks about what important and high quality environmental criteria are and how they are going to maintain it in items (b) and (e). He explained if they are saying they are preserving a meadow, they are going to preserve it as a meadow. He reiterated they also have to include how they determine whether it is important. He believes the review criteria is cited in Section 2401 of the ordinance.


Councilman Mitzel believes Item (I) is defined in the wetlands ordinance and is written as a wetland setback. He said if that is what item (I) is addressing, they should incorporate the specific language from the wetland’s ordinance. He added that the language about a buffer to woodlands needs further clarification.


Councilman Mitzel noted stormwater treatment in Item (d) is required anyway and he does not believe they should get any credit for it.


Councilman Mitzel believes item (f) needs further clarification. He added he is still uncertain about that because he believes many of them would already fall into the other criteria that other categories have provided.


Councilman Mitzel believes Councilwoman Mutch can define Item (g) more clearly and added they should include criteria about how they would review that item.


Councilman Mitzel believes if they include Items (h) and (e) the developer should do more than just provide the land and leave it up to the homeowner ‘s association to add the amenities. He believes the developer should provide certain active recreation areas if they are going try to get credit for that as recreational amenities. He is directing these comments mainly to (h), but noted (e) also includes recreational amenities and explained that (e) could include something like a nature trail.


Councilman Mitzel believes if they are going to provide a credit for the lake, the only area of the lake that they get credit for is that area that has a park around it. He noted he has already said that he does not agree they should give credits for a lake because he thinks it is different from a grassy field. He explained they could build houses on a field, but not on the lake. However, since the majority of Council wishes to pursue this route, he advocates that they do not provide a credit for the entire lake, but only for the perimeter on the part of the lake where residents can use it. In other words, if half the lake has a park around it, then they would get credit for that part of the lake.


Councilman Mitzel stated he would definitely not advocate a credit for any land that has a structure on it as proposed in Item (I) the May 12 draft.


Councilman Clark agrees with Councilman Mitzel and asked how would they address the credit for the area around the lake where there are homes constructed. Councilman Mitzel said they would receive no credit for the part that has homes; they would only get credit for the part that has a park or any open water body.


Councilman Clark asked if he is saying any open body of water that would receive potential credit. Councilman Mitzel reiterated they would only give credit for the portion of the lake that adjoins a park.



Councilman Kramer agrees with all of Councilman Mitzel’s points except for two. One is the lake because he views the lake as the same type of amenity as a park. He explained most parks have access points and he views Councilman Mitzel’s initiative regarding considering adjacent park land to the water as the access to the water. He believes the water amenity is available to everyone if there are a reasonable number of accesses.


Councilman Mitzel noted the open space ordinance only calls for 25% of development space for parks abutting a subdivision.


Councilman Kramer continued by stating that could be something upon which they could perhaps build. He suggested that they make criteria for the amount of access to the lake in the same way they would for access to a park. Councilman Kramer asked what is the city’s history regarding the treatment of schools in residential areas as suggested in Item (I). Mr. Rogers replied they permit schools in residential and he is uncertain about whether they gave them any density credit. He believes the developer probably donated the land and the school district built the building to serve the children in that particular neighborhood.


Councilman Kramer would like to understand that point because he believes they are trying to provide consistency and he does not believe he has a basis to judge Item (I). Mr. Rogers believes schools and parks, public and private were included in the residential neighborhood sector of the RUD.


Councilman Kramer understands they are a permitted use in residential, but would like to know the history of neighborhood schools as they constructed other developments. Mr. Rogers will look into that, and noted the Walled Lake Schools purchased their own sites and he believes the Novi School District owned the property at Taft and Eleven Mile Roads.


Councilwoman Mutch believes Village Oaks Elementary School was part of a PUD.


In response to Councilman Mitzel’s concern about offering a credit for Item (I), Councilwoman Mutch agrees that it is not going to be undeveloped land. Further, while it is true it may be more a intense use than others, most of the time that is not true. She explained during most of the day this type of use is unused and the property is available almost like a park to the residents. She believes it is up to the city to decide whether it should be permissible and whether they deserve the credit. In addition, Councilwoman Mutch believes if they only allow credit for the area around a lake made to be a park, the depth of the area for the park may be so minimal that the only thing that separates it from the homes is the roadway and those homes on the road would still have a lake view site. Further, for Item (g), Councilwoman Mutch reminded Council that the city has appointed a committee that is currently finalizing a report about historic buildings and she would recommend that they make this their starting point.


Mayor ProTem Crawford does not agree they should eliminate most of these, but he does agree with the fact that some of them need to be better defined. He said without overburdening the ordinance, he does not want one of these to trigger additional reviews. Further, he believes some are so vague that they could interpret them in many ways. He cited Item (a) as an example. He added he also does not know how they would define (f) and suggested that they might eliminate it unless someone can provide a specific example. Mayor ProTem Crawford strongly supports credits for the lake and similar amenities because he believes it is something that is important to the uniqueness of the RUD. He noted land for churches and schools is land that they could have developed had it not been designated for a church or school. Consequently, he believes a credit is appropriate.


Councilman Schmid concurs with Councilman Mitzel’s comments about a lake credit. He does not understand why they would provide credit to a developer who happened to have a lake on his property on which he cannot build. He added since the developer will generate three times the value of the land for each home built on a lot on the lake’s perimeter, why would they turn around and offer a credit for that lake to have additional lots. He believes they should provide some credit if the developer provided some access to the lake for all of the residents. Councilman Schmid also agrees they should not receive a credit for schools or churches unless they donate the land. Councilman Schmid believes there is no basis for most of the credits and he advocates a net credit instead of a gross. Further, Councilman Schmid guarantees there will not be another developer that will construct a conventional lot in western Novi because there is no incentive.


Mr. Rogers reminded Council they recently approved Cheltenham Estates which is a conventional plan that is not large enough to be an RUD. He added the developer does not want to develop under the preservation option or develop a site condominium and that it is a conventional R-1 subdivision. Mr. Rogers believes there will be more developments like this.


Councilman Schmid noted the key word is "not big enough." He is talking about anything that started out to be 10 acres and they now increased that to 80 acres. Therefore, Councilman Schmid is talking about development that would be 80 acres or more. He believes there is no developer that would use net acreage when he could come in with an RUD and use gross acreage for the number of homes. Councilman Schmid believes they could remove this option as quickly as they removed the PUD.


Councilman Mitzel asked how does (I) fit into the overall criteria that the open space is dedicated to the use of the residents and under the control of the RUD residents. He believes a church would most likely be a private development. He agrees many churches allow people to use their parking lots as areas of recreation, but because of the current legal environment, private property owners are discouraging it. Mr. Watson agrees, because the notion of it being a public school or other institutional use or church use would probably be incompatible with it being dedicated to the use of those residents.


Councilman Mitzel stated that would be another reason why he would not support that type of credit.


Councilman Mitzel said the part of the lake the developer should get credit for is where people can access the lake. He explained the credit would be proportional to the shoreline and if they only give 10% of the shoreline, then they only get credit for the wedge shape that goes out to the middle of the lake. He agrees they may ring it with a road and make it accessible to everyone, but the people on the other side of the road would still have a lake view. Further, he agrees they should eliminate items (a) and (f), unless someone can define them further.


Councilwoman Mutch said when she spoke about a road around the lake, she thought the developer could get density credits based on ringing the lake. However, there is no incentive for what she would call a park area that may be developed adjacent to the lake or tangent to the lake because it would perhaps touch on the lake and the only density credits would be for that part that touches. She noted it would also be an amenity for the larger community because by providing a park within the neighborhood it lessens the demand on the city to provide a park to service that same population. She reiterated what incentive is there for the developer to set aside usable park space as opposed to just a ribbon of land around the lake. The example that comes to mind is the Vistas review and recalled that they cited they had 16 park areas. She asked Dan Davis if he thought those 16 park areas were really usable park areas or were they basically ribbons of grass and believes should look at any park area in this way. Further, she thinks by giving the lake credit and looking at the lake as a community amenity, makes it an amenity that is worth the trade off.


Mayor McLallen believes Council has had a thorough discussion on this issue. She reiterated the majority support the consideration of the credits maintained and the continued discussion pointed out where clarification may help them overcome some gray areas in the future. She added the RUD is a discretionary ordinance and these are incentives. However, they only offer them if the developer is meeting a quality that is beyond all of their existing regulations. She said it is at Council’s discretion and Council will ask what is exceptional about this project. Then the bottom line will be that this is for the benefit of the residents of the RUD and these requirements are asking a developer to provide amenities that they would not require him to do. Further, those amenities will have a cause to enhance the quality of life for these residents. She said some things they are talking about are those things the city would like to give their citizens at large. However, they cannot do it because there is only so much tax base. Consequently, they can put these amenities in through the private sector, but whether they ever put them in before is going to be based on this criterion of whether it enhances the overall quality of life, and that they are beyond what they would get otherwise. The Mayor would like to see what kind of creativity is out there and what kind of amenities they can provide. She reiterated the overall decision of whether they will ever grant it will be with Council. Mayor McLallen added that schools and churches are why people come to specific communities because they are typically the meeting places within the community. She agrees the way (I) is inserted raises some questions about the dedicated use and the legalities of it. However, if a developer "provides" these amenities in some fashion, then she believes they should consider it. She noted that the word "provides" may also need further definition. Mayor McLallen especially liked Councilman Mitzel’s request that they include language that indicates that the developer not only provides the land for the amenity, but that they also provide the amenity itself.


Mayor ProTem Crawford would like to revisit his consensus vote when they were talking about the perimeter and whether they should develop it with underlying density or insert the language from Item 2, B of the May 12 draft. Mayor ProTem Crawford would like to change his vote and believes it is appropriate to insert the language of 2, B instead of the underlying zoning.



BREAK - 10:22 p.m. until 10:37 p.m.


Mayor McLallen stated they will begin with Item 4, Lot Area on Page 6; she noted Mr. Arroyo developed some potential language in the May 12 draft. Mayor McLallen stated this was part of their earlier discussion about what is the underlying lot size and density.


For Lot Area, Mayor McLallen reported Mr. Arroyo proposed, "One-family detached dwellings shall be subject to the minimum lot area and lot width requirements of the district provided, however, that the City Council, after review and recommendation by the Planning Commission, may modify the lot width and lot area requirements of the district where the modification will result in the preservation or enhancement of open spaces, non-regulated woodlands and wetlands, and/or other natural features and historic features. In no instance shall the lot area and lot width be reduced to less that what is required in the R-3 district." Mayor McLallen reminded Council that an RUD is applicable in RA through R-3 zoning. Mayor McLallen asked if this language helps with the earlier conversation they had about what will be the guiding criterion for lots within an RUD. Mayor McLallen further asked if "district provided" means underlying zoning. Mr. Watson said it would be conventional development.


Councilman Kramer believes that language needs further clarification. He asked if it were R-3, would they enforce R-3 requirements and so forth. Mr. Watson replied they would.


Mayor McLallen stated that would be the basis they start and if any of the other categories come up, they can reduce them.


Mayor ProTem Crawford stated the areas mentioned in that paragraph are not all the areas they just talked about under Section B. He asked if they meant that they could reduce the lot width because of everything mentioned in B or is it only specific to what was mentioned in here.


Mayor McLallen thinks the question is, is the lot area the mechanics that enable them to produce all these potentially beneficial things. She asked where does lot area fit into the overall scheme of things.


Mayor ProTem Crawford read, "the modification will result in preservation" and asked if it really means what they just talked about in B.


Mr. Rogers would say so, but believes it is in a briefer language style. He added that it picks up those same criteria that they were talking about in B, but they did not mention them all.


Mayor ProTem Crawford asked if it was intended for them to be able to reduce a lot width because they gave credit for a church or a school.


Mr. Rogers believes all of the items in B were justified. He added in his May 5 memorandum to Mr. Watson he talked about modifying the lot sizes and the need to have a variety of single family detached housing types, an opportunity for greater preservation of open space and secondary conservation areas, meadows, wetlands not regulated by MDEQ, habitat areas, and passive recreation. He said his memo went on to discuss scenic views or view corridors, and historic and cultural features. He believes that expanding on that would be proper.


Councilman Kramer believes it is not clear that they really need or want to be able to adjust the lot size. He thinks they said in their last discussion that they would recognize the traditional R-3, R-2, R-1 lot configurations. He also thought they said having done that, then they would live by that and make some definition. He does not know if he would be willing to throw out the issue of modifying all of those.


Councilman Mitzel asked if he is saying that they would have discreet sizes; they could use either RA, R-1, R-2 or R-3. Councilman Kramer agreed; he thinks there may be an area in cluster spacing or cluster that they might want to leave open to potential adjustment because it is a little more massive. He thought when they were looking at single family, he thought they had settled on the idea of using their existing definitions, and letting them mix and match down to R-3. Mayor McLallen thought that was what this says.

Councilman Kramer agreed, but added that it also says Council can modify all these lot widths and he wondered if they really want to get into that.


Councilman Mitzel believes Councilman Kramer is saying that the language should just say, one-family detached dwelling units may be of the minimal lot area and width requirements of RA, R-1, R-2 and R-3 districts.


Councilman Kramer agreed and added, or of a district provided period.


Mayor McLallen said the lot sizes permitted in an RUD are RA, R-1, R-2, and R-3 and they are the building blocks that will make up the plan. She is unclear about what they are saying about Council never modifying the lot width below R-3.


Councilman Mitzel believes the intent is that they begin with the lot size as their base zoning, but Council may modify it to permit the developer to use those additional building blocks below that zoning and down to R-3. Councilman Mitzel believes it could be clarified further. He suggested that if they start with the base and then subject it to Council and Planning Commission review, they can probably modify it by discreet units down to R-3 as a minimum. Councilman Mitzel believes the current language implies they can have something in between like an R-1 ½. He reminded Council at last week’s meeting they discussed that it should meet either RA, R-1, R-2, or R-3.


Councilman Kramer added all of those are developed and defined. He proposes that the language should read that way.


Councilwoman Mutch noted if there is not enough area to qualify for the next one, it would remain in the same category.


Councilman Kramer said they would not need to say that they can modify the dimensions.

Councilman Kramer suggested if they keep the language that they clarify "modify."


Councilman Schmid does not understand what they mean by "modify." He asked if that would mean they would change the zoning from RA to R-1.


Councilman Kramer suggested that they say "modify" within existing definitions.


Councilman Schmid asked what is meant by "width." Mr. Rogers believes it may mean no lots below 90 feet in width if it is an R-3 or 110 feet if it is an R-2. In that way, it conforms with the area requirements so that the width and the area somewhat ties together. He suggested "reduce" might be a better word instead of modify.



Councilman Schmid asked if that would mean they would reduce the a 90 foot lot in R-3 to 80 feet. Mr. Rogers replied that is incorrect. He explained the threshold would be the R-3 district and nothing would ever be below 90 feet.


Councilman Schmid asked if he is saying he could reduce an R-2 from 110 feet to 100 feet. Mr. Rogers said it would not be an R-2 because if the site did not have a 110 foot width, they would not call it an R-2; it would be an R-3.


Councilman Schmid asked if Council could reduce it to 100 feet as opposed to 110. Mr. Rogers replied they could do that based upon an overall RUD plan. Mr. Rogers added that an R-3 lot could be anything between 90 and 110 feet but 90 feet is the minimum-minimum.


Mayor McLallen asked how is this any different from what they already have. Mr. Rogers asked if she thought it was redundant.


Mayor McLallen wants to be certain about what it really says.


Councilwoman Mutch believes they proposed the RUD with a gap last week and there was an effort to fill that gap in terms of the size of lots they could propose.


Councilman Kramer believes if they adopt this, it also gives them predefined criteria for the setbacks, site coverage and so forth.


Councilwoman Mutch believes they have gotten to the point that they have looked for so many details that they do not recognize this as that simple.


Mayor ProTem Crawford said this would then allow for a variety of lot sizes.


Councilman Kramer said it does, within their current definitions.


Mr. Rogers suggested that they could have 5% of the development in conventional lots and the balance would be something else.


Mayor ProTem Crawford asked if this addresses the gap. Mr. Rogers replied it does.


Mayor McLallen asked if they are comfortable with the language.


From Council’s discussion, Mr. Watson believes what they would like to see is that they begin with a base of what the underlying zoning is and then have the discretion to allow them to reduce that to distinct increments of down to, but no smaller than R-3. He said the issue they have not discussed is what criterion they are going to use to decide whether they are going to do that or not. In other words, what criteria are they are going to use to separate the plan that wants to do all of the units as R-3.


Mayor McLallen thought that was what Mayor ProTem Crawford was pointing out; the reason that they would want to do this is for those things that will persuade Council to grant a credit.

Mayor ProTem Crawford said when they talk about the potential to reduce lot sizes, he asked whether they are being totally flexible or are they going with increments of R-1 through R-3. He asked if it is possible to have an R-2 ½ to ¾. He further asked what difference would it make. Councilman Mitzel replied that is just a large R-2 lot. Mr. Watson agreed, he said it is not as though they will have an R-2 ½ or an R-1 ½.

Mayor ProTem Crawford thought if they had an R-2 lot, perhaps they do not need to reduce it to an R-3 and asked if that variable is included. Councilman Mitzel said they would apply the R-3 standards for their minimum setback and yard areas, but they could still have it bigger than R-3 and slightly smaller than R-2.


Mayor ProTem Crawford said if they reduce the lot from the previous one, they would go to the next minimums and still have a bigger lot by any variable.


Councilman Schmid asked why would they ever have to do reduce a lot. Mayor ProTem Crawford replied it is a philosophical issue. He explained they would reduce a lot if they had to provide additional preservation or perhaps if it abuts an historic barn. He believes if they need to reduce lots, he does not believe they do not need to step down by specific increments and that it can be variable.


Councilman Mitzel said Mr. Watson mentioned criteria in terms of how they base the lot size reduction or cluster. He suggested that they use their credits listing and base it on the number of units that they have in the area on which they are not going to build. He believes they could determine mathematically that they could not build all RA if they are saying they have 50 units and they only have 25 acres. Another way would be to take the areas that they saved and apply a percentage of the net site that encompasses. In other words, if they had 50 buildable acres and they are getting the density credits for 20 acres, then that is 40% of the site. They could then reduce their lot width or area by some sort of factor or formula like they currently have in the preservation option. Councilman Mitzel believes there is no way that they can give a density credit if a developer indicates they are saving a part of the site and will build them in another area of the site, that they are going to get all conventional lots. He said it would not physically fit because the only way they can get conventional lots is to build the zoning density on the net site period with no density credits. He noted once they give density credits they can no longer have 100% conventional. He reiterated that they need some sort of formula for lot size reduction and suggested that they look at the preservation option. He noted the preservation option has a formula, but it gives the floor of the next lowest zoning. In this case, the floor is R-3. He also believes the cluster option has some criteria about what size and under what conditions clusters can be constructed.


Assuming the underlying lot size is RA, Councilman Schmid asked if they must have any RA lots. Councilman Mitzel recalled that it reads a "portion" must be conventional.


Councilman Schmid asked if they should have a percentage because "portion" could be any amount.


Councilman Mitzel advised another area would be that perimeter area that abuts another single family area. However, he noted if it does not abut another single family development, then they cover that perimeter.


Councilman Schmid said the vote was that it did not have to be that. He said if it were an R-2, they could have R-2. Councilman Mitzel thought it was the underlying zoning.


Councilman Schmid advised Mayor ProTem Crawford changed his vote.


Councilman Schmid believes they should have some percentage, because he can guarantee they will come forward with R-3's.


Councilman Kramer asked if they should consider setting a hard percentage or can they describe a certain intent.


Councilwoman Mutch believes percentages are arbitrary in that each site is going to offer its own platting challenges.


Councilman Mitzel asked what would the review criteria be if they proposed 10 houses out of 500 houses and Council does not believe that is a good enough proportion. Mr. Watson replied they would have to draft that language.


Councilwoman Mutch believes that coming up with numbers would be difficult and that they would have to have a particular project in mind which is clearly not what they want to do.

Councilman Kramer supports Councilman Schmid’s concern. He believes they need to repeat the intent as they state it on Page 2. Further, if they cannot come up with a better way, they need to say, "provided that a portion of the residential component of the RUD is comprised of conventional, meaning underlying one-family dwelling units." He said if they cannot define "portion," they need to restate their intent that a portion be retained of initial character. However, they still need to determine how they come to that and make a judgement about criteria.


Mayor McLallen understands Councilman Schmid’s concerns, but she thinks it still comes back to the fact that this is a discretionary option and the intent is to make it better. The true challenge is not to inundate it with percentages they can never put into the real world and not let the developer come in with the least common denominator.


Councilwoman Mutch said they clearly stated the intent at the very beginning and the whole purpose of the RUD is to allow a mixture of various types of homes. She thinks it is inconceivable for somebody to propose what is basically an R-3 development, because it is obviously not a mixture.


Councilman Schmid said as much as he dislikes the RUD, he believes they should say that they are dealing with RA zoning areas in the western part of Novi. He said they are going to allow some flexibility there, but they should at least want a great number of those lots developed under what the zoning is. He believes they should provide some flex, but not make it primarily an R-2 or R-3 district.


Councilwoman Mutch envisions this in the western part of Novi for the most part because it is more rural than the eastern part of the city. Further, the zoning changes and master plan also had that in mind. She thinks there can be some difference of opinion in what large lot zoning and lower density can mean. She stated Councilman Schmid has spoken in favor of large lot zoning with the idea that there are people who wish to build a house on a large piece of property and that he would expect that house to be a large house. However, many people are not as focused on the individual lot as some people might be. She thinks they are focused on the idea of maintaining the rural appearance and the benefit to the city of having an RUD is that they still have the potential to maintain that rural character in terms of the external part of the land.


Councilman Schmid agrees, but suggested there could be a couple hundred people that want large lots who are not interested in preservation. He is just attempting to provide room for large lots despite the size of home they build on it and he believes there is a large demand for that. He added there is also a large demand for the kind of community about which Councilwoman Mutch is talking. He is just trying to convince Council that they should maintain some areas in this city for that. His concern is that the RUD ordinance is going to destroy it and he would like at least to get a few large lots.


Councilwoman Mutch said they would definitely see large lots on the less than 80 acre pieces.


Mayor McLallen read Item 5, Yard Setbacks and reported there are no issues with the language.



Mayor McLallen read Item 6, Application Requirements and noted R-A (Rural Agricultural) was changed to RA (Rural Acreage) and they deleted R-4. She added Items A-D are in conformance with the existing ordinance. She noted the substitution of the word "by" for the word "for" in D and instead of the word "sponsor" they inserted the word "applicant." The Mayor reported there are no issues with the language in Item 6.


Mayor McLallen read Item 7, Considerations of Application and noted there are five criteria.


Councilman Mitzel asked if this was the language that Mr. Watson stated he added to provide Council flexibility during the review so that they can sift quality projects from non-quality projects. In other words, Councilman Mitzel believes this is their main tool. Mr. Watson replied A is the general broad criterion and B lists the factors Council is supposed to look at to evaluate a project.


Mayor McLallen noted Page 9 contains language that they changed and the changes are in bold face on Page 10.


Councilman Mitzel stated if Council thought the proposed use was inappropriate for the site, they could deny it based on that. Mr. Watson said that was correct and they would make that determination for appropriateness based upon the items listed in B.


Mayor McLallen reported under Item B on Page 10 there are thirteen very distinct evaluation criteria for the RUD.


Councilwoman Mutch stated Item B, (2) is another semantic issue. She asked if they intend it to mean where they have said there will be a walkway, a playground, a park, etc. that the Planning Commission determines whether the area they are setting aside is adequate or does it say that they have to determine whether adequate area has been set aside for everything that they list. Mr. Watson replied the intent is the latter meaning. He explained it is not whether there are areas set aside for what they have decided to provide; it is whether they have provided what the city believes is sufficient.


Councilwoman Mutch does not know where to start because it is so all encompassing. She asked how can they say that they have to set aside adequate areas for all schools to be used by resident’s neighboring community and the public at large. This presupposes that the developer is going to know what the plans of the neighboring school districts are. She believes it is an impossibility.


Councilman Kramer asked if she would propose to delete the phrases, "the neighboring community" and the "public at large."



Councilwoman Mutch thought at first that it was a grammatical error. She believed it meant if they were proposing to have a school or playground within their development, the Planning Commission would say that is just a ribbon of grass and is not sufficient space for a school or playground. If Mr. Watson is saying this not what this is saying, Councilwoman Mutch believes it is beyond revision.


Mr. Watson agrees with Councilman Kramer’s suggestion that they should not include "neighboring community" and "public at large."


Councilwoman Mutch asked what would occur in those instances that an RUD did not propose a school because that proposal comes in at a time where they would be one of the last districts in Novi. Mr. Watson replied what she is presupposing by her question is that there is not a school needed, so adequate area would not encompass a school area.


Councilwoman Mutch asked by whose determination would that be made because the city has no jurisdiction over the need for schools. Mr. Watson said the city does provide input because although they do not submit site plans or special land uses for approval, they will have consultants that will do some research about what the needs are for schools in the area. He added they will consult those people who make those determinations and make a recommendation about whether they are serving those needs.


Councilwoman Mutch recalled that Novi School District did not include the property on which the Civic Center sits. She asked if somebody was proposing a residential area nearby under this kind of requirement, would they be looking at the Novi School District which at the time may have not needed a school, but the Northville School District did.


Councilman Kramer asked if they could add "proposed" after the word "all." He explained if they do not propose the school, then they do not have to judge whether it is adequate. He then suggested that the word "applicable" might be more appropriate.


Councilman Mitzel believes someone has to first confirm that it really is what the developer says it is. For the second part, they have to ask whether there is there adequate area set aside for parks and so forth for their whole development and all the houses in it. Councilman Mitzel said there were some open plans that say they have to provide a certain number of acres, and they finger it through with ten foot ribbons between all the lots and they get the acreage, but it does not meet the intent.


Mayor McLallen suggested they say "adequate usable" area.


Councilman Mitzel believes Mr. Watson understands the gist of the conversation and could draft legal language later. Mr. Watson agreed.


Councilman Mitzel asked if the word "determination" in the first sentence under B should instead read "recommendation to Council." Mr. Watson replied that actually refers to the determination made under A.


Councilman Mitzel understands that, but under A it says "recommendation." Mr. Watson said A states, "in making its recommendation it shall determine" so B is referring to making that determination. Then when they move on to subsection 9 on Page 12 it says, "The City Council, in making its review, shall follow the standards set forth in subsection 7."


Councilman Kramer believes Item (4) "relative to other feasible uses of the site" needs further definition. Further on it states, "in the alternative, the development will provide on-site and off-site improvements to alleviate such impacts." and asked if Council is empowered to require a developer to do off-site improvements. Mr. Watson replied not normally, but he thinks if they are talking about a special land use and whether they want to grant something, it is different from a conventional development. Council can make a determination about whether it is going to have an adverse impact on that type of infrastructure.


Councilman Kramer asked if there are prudent reasonable legal bounds that they need to define. He specifically asked if they can require a developer to improve an intersection two miles from his development. Mr. Watson replied if Council decided that the impact of the development was to cause an adverse impact on that intersection, they could. Mr. Watson recommended that they leave themselves that ability.


Councilman Kramer stated they never allowed them that authority in all the years he served on the Planning Commission and asked how are they allowed that under the RUD. Mr. Watson replied they are adding the criteria because it is not a simple site plan. Mr. Watson added it is not a negotiated item, but it is something over which Council is exercising their discretion.


Mayor McLallen noted Page 11 contains the continuing criteria for determination.


Councilman Kramer referred to Item (6) and read, "Whether, and the extent to which, the RUD will provide for the preservation and creation of open space." He believes that is an enablement and is not a requirement of the RUD. He suggested that they provide a lead in that says "where the open space provision is used" and asked that this be looked at more closely. He noted they spend a lot of time talking about open space, but they do not require that they provide the open space if they do an RUD.


Mr. Watson stated if they do not promote open space, then Council may not want to approve it and that is the point of that paragraph. Councilman Kramer does not believe they were requiring open space, he believes they are encouraging open space. Mr. Watson believes what they are looking for here is to give themselves the discretion to evaluate whether they preserve open space or do not preserve open space. If they are not or if Council decides insufficient open space is preserved, that may be something on which they base their decision. Councilman Kramer stated he does not have a large issue with this.


Councilman Kramer said if these are things that the Planning Commission should assess, how are they empowered to address Item (11). Mr. Watson said they would have recommendations from their consultants.


Mayor McLallen advised Item 8 is the Public Hearing Requirement and noted the change is that the Planning Commission is not the ultimate authority for RUD’s, they are now only recommending to City Council and Council will make the final determination.


Mayor McLallen noted the additional language in Item 9 is City Council Review and added that the rest of the language remains intact.


Mayor McLallen read Item 10, Phasing.


Mayor McLallen read Item 11, Final Site Plan or Plats and noted new language. She advised this is the step by step review process.


Councilman Kramer referred to Item 11( E) and believes their last discussion on safety paths was a consideration of a sidewalk on one side if there were some other trails or connection provided on the other side.


Councilman Mitzel advocates sidewalks on both sides in conformance with the same standards they have in the rest of their developments. He reminded Council that they required sidewalks in Beckenham where there were woodlands on both sides of the road. Councilman Mitzel believes this is especially important since this development will be a more dense development and added this was one of the greatest disappointments in the Maples of Novi.


Mayor McLallen stated Councilman Mitzel’s point is well taken, but the conversation had been that would have been the preferred. She explained due to the potential environmental situation and since the goal of the RUD was environmental enhancement that putting concrete in would be detrimental to the overall development.


Councilman Mitzel argued so would building houses be detrimental for that matter. He said if they want to be that environmentally sensitive, they will not build the whole project and preserve it as a park.


Mayor McLallen stated there was some support in previous discussions to allow flexibility for sidewalks.


Councilwoman Mutch thinks to have pedestrian access on both sides is a compromise she could support. She suggested that they construct a more natural path in those areas where one side has an environmental feature with no building so that pedestrians do not have to walk on the road.


Councilman Kramer said if they agree with Councilman Mitzel, they should provide walkways on both sides and a case has to be made for any deviation.


Mayor ProTem Crawford believes the current language seems flexible unless they want to make it more flexible. He cannot see any reason to put paths on both sides and believes the proposed language is appropriate.


Councilman Mitzel believes the current zoning requires sidewalks on both sides of the road, including the one acre zoning. However, now they are saying that something that is more compact only requires sidewalks on one side of the road. He would think they would want to keep it on both sides and if there is a problem, they can request a waiver. He reminded Council that they denied Beckenham’s request for a waiver for the very same reasons. He believes Council’s actions are inconsistent and he does not agree their position.


Councilman Schmid asked if they would require sidewalks in front of the acre lots on the lake. He noted that they want to have a rural atmosphere and he cannot remember ever seeing a sidewalk in rural South Lyon. He added he does understand the necessity of sidewalks from a safety standpoint.


Mayor McLallen stated there is Council consensus to direct the attorney to include a flexible standard for sidewalks based upon environmental criteria.


Mayor ProTem Crawford reiterated he wants it any more restrictive than what is already proposed.


Mayor McLallen advised Item 12, Effect of Approval of RUD Plan is essentially saying that everything is going to be in the plan.


Mayor McLallen moved on to Item 13, Termination of RUD.


The Mayor stated Item 14, is Open Space Preservation.



Councilman Mitzel reminded Council that he would like the additional language added to this section. Mr. Watson stated that was the issue they discussed earlier.


Mayor McLallen advised Item 15, is Construction of Improvements and Item 16, RUD as Optional Method of Development makes it clear that this is something that is to be earned.


Mayor McLallen advised Item 17, Amendments and Revisions offers the possible mechanisms to amend an approved RUD.


Mayor McLallen asked if there is Council consensus to put this into draft form.


Councilman Clark has no problem with putting this into draft form. However, he recalled when they discussed the minimum acreage size for the RUD, he believes they decided the minimum would be 100 acres and tonight, he sees that it is 80 acres.


Mr. Watson reminded Councilman Clark that Council asked that the size be modified and that the consultants consider some rationale for that. Mr. Watson received an opinion from Mr. Rogers that suggested 80 acre with a list of his rationale for his recommendation.


Mayor McLallen noted they discussed this issue before Councilman Clark arrived.


Mr. Rogers explained a section of land is 640 acres, a quarter section is 160 and half a quarter is 80 and believe they should stay within the basic engineering division of land. Mr. Rogers stated it could have gone to 120 acres and recalled he originally suggested 100. However, he feels 80 acres permits an internal road system that a 25 acre site might have difficulty in doing. Further, 80 acres permits transition open space, perimeter natural features to be saved and allows space for a variety of housing types reflecting the inherent intent of the RUD. Mr. Rogers reviewed the plat maps and noted there are a number of 80 acre parcels.

Further, larger areas could also be made by consolidation of parcels.


Councilman Schmid believes there was no consensus made for 80 acres.


Mayor McLallen reminded Councilman Schmid there was consensus to move forward on that issue. Further, she added this document is just being formatted for a first reading.


Mayor McLallen asked if there is Council consensus to have the first reading on June 2.


Mayor McLallen said they passed the 11:30 p.m. deadline. Consequently, they will not address the entire zoning ordinance rewrite and must continue that issue on another date.



Mayor ProTem Crawford asked if the document is ready before June 2, should they schedule a special meeting to consider the first reading.


Councilman Schmid would not like to schedule a special meeting.


Councilman Mitzel does not believe they would accomplish much with just a first reading.


Mayor ProTem Crawford stated it would be a week or so closer to a second reading. He does not know if it is feasible with what Mr. Watson has to prepare, but he does not want to eliminate the possibility.


Councilman Kramer asked what mechanism could they use to call a meeting. Mayor McLallen reported two members or the Mayor can call a special meeting.


Mayor ProTem Crawford stated if they have a first reading on June 2; the second reading would occur June 16 and he thought they could speed that process up.


Councilman Kramer would like to consider requesting an attorney’s opinion when they get into the first reading and they begin to look at the review process requirements of the ordinance. He said they currently had a situation where they have an RUD to review and since they just revised an ordinance, he would like some opinion in terms of what basis should they move forward. He further asked if they have satisfied all the process requirements as redefined. Mr. Watson will provide that opinion.


Councilman Mitzel believes they must formally postpone Item 3 on the agenda.



CM-97-05-167: Moved by Mitzel, Seconded by Crawford, MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To postpone Zoning Ordinance Re-write to a date uncertain




Councilman Kramer noted they still have an postponed motion. Councilman Mitzel believes they postponed that motion to the June 2 meeting.



Vote on CM-97-05-167: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Clark, Kramer, Mitzel, Mutch, Schmid

Nays: None






Lynn Kocan - 23088 Ennishore Drive, thanked Council for taking the time to review the RUD ordinance page by page. Ms. Kocan stated her definition of incentive in terms of schools is that it is something that is given because they got nothing for something before. She believes if they are selling property, the developer is getting a profit. Consequently, they should not give incentives for something for which they gave a profit. She added it is the same thing for a lake incentive. She does not believe there should be an additional incentive when a developer is already getting $1M per house on a lake. She thought there was a majority vote that there will be incentives given, but she did not hear consensus on each individual item and seeing how they write the draft will be interesting.


Mayor McLallen interjected, there was not a consensus. She explained the verbiage was unclear and they asked it to be brought back.


Ms. Kocan would agree to giving a credit for the undeveloped portion of a lake. Further, the word "may" versus "shall" makes her think of "special land use" versus "allowable uses." She believes Meadowbrook Lake was burned by special land use and the term "discretion." Ms. Kocan stated there are no guarantees if they start talking about discretion. She stated what is on paper is what they support in the courts. Consequently, she asked Council to be very careful where they insert "mays" and "shalls." Ms. Kocan missed the discussion about the 330 foot perimeter at both meetings. Further, it is comical to her that there is a whole page of verbiage on being compatible with its surrounding residential in the RUD. However, when they talk about light industrial next to residential, the word compatible is in there and there is no where near a 330 foot perimeter. She asked Council to consider additional perimeters when they get to that portion in the zoning ordinance in terms of compatibility and like zones versus unlike zones, and totally incompatible zoning. Ms. Kocan thanked Councilwoman Mutch for asking the questions about the intent and purpose of the first reading. However, she does not believe that she agrees that the intent of a first reading is to have everything in its final form. She would have been very offended if at the end of this meeting that they said this was a first reading and they will then move on to the second reading. She insists that the first and second readings should be separated.


Ms. Kocan stated she proposed a noise ordinance update in June 1994 and she would appreciate it if they could finish that discussion.



Lonnie Zimmerman - stated he is an architect and came to hear discussion about the zoning ordinance this evening. He advised several of his clients have asked him to ask what is the process that is going to be followed, particularly concerning the parking portion of the ordinance. Mr. Zimmerman asked what will they be doing and what process will Council follow.


Mayor McLallen replied because these are work study sessions, anyone can bring information to the consultants and staff so they can make those comments a part of the work session. Typically, during the session Council does not entertain conversation. She stated if Mr. Zimmerman’s clients have specific issues that they want Council to review, it would be appropriate to send those in as soon as they can.

Mr. Zimmerman believes his clients would like to have more of an idea about the process and a time when they can look for a conclusion to the review.


Mayor McLallen stated they hoped to have completed the process six months ago. She cannot give a date certain, but believes the process will last through the summer.



Chuck Young - 50910 W. Nine Mile Road, is happy that Council is working on the process. He reiterated his concerns about the first and second readings, and added that they should hold them in this type of public forum. He thinks they are doing a good job without a lot of shouting.



Glen Bonaventura - personally thinks if any meeting deserves some loud shouting, this meeting did. Mr. Bonaventura complimented and appreciated Councilman Mitzel’s clear points and the thought he put into RUD. Mr. Bonaventura stated a lot of the new majority on Council talk about tax base. He stated his concern is if an owner has property for ten to fifteen years zoned RA and they do this to it, Council is undermining tax dollars that could be easing the burdens on the community by beefing up the fire department, the school system, the police department, the park system, and the road system. He believes they are using RA as a holding pattern and he does not believe that is right.





There being no further business before City Council, the meeting was adjourned at 11:53






Mayor City Clerk



Transcribed by Barbara Holmes


Date Approved: June 16, 1997



See Attachment





Excerpt from June 2, 1997 Audience Participation:


Lynn Kocan - 23088 Ennishore Drive, referred to Consent Agenda Item 1 and advised that she believes she said or at least she meant to say on Page 55 in the third paragraph, fifth line from the bottom that the intent of a first reading of an ordinance is in fact to have everything in its final form. She advised what is in the minutes says, "However, she does not believe that she agrees . . ." Ms. Kocan would like those intro words, "However, she does not believe that" stricken from the record.



Excerpt from June 16, 1997 Audience Participation:



Lynn Kocan - 23088 Ennishore Drive, advised the comments she made on June 2, 1997 to clarify her statement in the Council minutes of May 15, 1997 were regarding her opinion of the first reading. Ms. Kocan explained she clarified a statement she made at midnight without written text at the end of the May 15 RUD work session. She appreciates that the City reviewed the tape and confirmed that her comments were transcribed verbatim in the minutes. However, she is sure Council will acknowledge that sometimes they can start a statement, change the introduction, which will ultimately change the meaning of the statement when it is transcribed verbatim. She knows many of the Council members have corrected their statements in previous minutes so that the record accurately reflects their intentions. Ms. Kocan hoped her clarification of what she had said or at least what she had meant to say would be good enough to get the minutes changed. She then asked Council to honor her request to amend the minutes as she asked at the last Council meeting.